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Cycling | 17 juli 2018

Kruijswijk smoothly through first Alps stage Tour de France

Steven Kruijswijk has finished the first Alps stage very smoothly. The leader of Team LottoNL-Jumbo finished the stage in twelfth place amongst the other favourites. Primoz Roglic also finished in Kruijswijk’s group. The Slovenian sprinted to the eighth place. In the overall standings, Kruijswijk and Roglic are twelfth and tenth respectively.

In the stage from Annecy to Le Grand Bornand, with four tough climbs along the way, the pace was very high from the start. At the first climb, a large leading group was established including Team LottoNL-Jumbo’s Robert Gesink. On the Col de la Colombière, the pace was too high for the Dutchman, who then did his job for Steven Kruijswijk in the last kilometre. Antwan Tolhoek and Paul Martens also were very strong in today’s stage in their efforts to support the team.

Kruijswijk had seen a very strong team today. “It was a solid day. I was feeling good and that gives confidence for the next two Alp stages. From the beginning, the pace was very high. Then it’s important to ride in the front and stay in the front. The team worked really well today, especially Antwan. But Robert, Paul and Primoz also did their part of the job. Tomorrow and the day after tomorrow the race will certainly be different as we finish on top of a mountain, but I’m feeling good and I have come out of the rest day really well.”

Gesink battled in the line of fire all day. “The intention today was that in case of a large breakaway either Antwan or I would join the break. We succeeded. I’m feeling good and sharp. On the final climb, when the gap to leaders was too big, I didn’t give one hundred percent anymore to safe energy in order to be good on other days. A lot of important stages are yet to come for the team. The other boys are also doing really good and there will be more opportunities. I will definitely try again.”

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