Cycling | 27 augustus 2017

Last stage before Vuelta’s rest day gives Kruijswijk some more morale

In the ninth stage of the Vuelta a España to Cumbre del Sol, Steven Kruijswijk managed to stay with the favourites until the last decisive metres. Of that group, Team LottoNL-Jumbo's captain finished seventeenth. "It could have been worse going into the rest day”, he concluded optimistically.

The last five hundred metres were very steep. "Because of the last days I didn’t have too much confidence for that", Kruijswijk said. "I'm glad I was in the right group now. It's good for my morale. I had some more power in my legs and I was able to stand on the pedals a bit longer. That's a good sign and it opens perspectives for week two and three."

Sports director Sierk Jan de Haan once again found himself behind a leading group to coach one of the riders. "Good to see that Bert Jan Lindeman was up there", De Haan said. "Well done. It was a pity that Cannondale controlled the lead. Bert Jan survived the first climb well and was then able to assist Steven. We were well represented in the peloton at that point. Especially Antwan Tolhoek was very good, despite the pain in his shoulder, with which he’s been struggling since the team time trial."

Lindeman: "I had a good day out there, with many spectators. This has been my training ground for a long time. From my 18th to my 27th I trained here for several weeks every year. Unfortunately, we never got more than three minutes today. My idea was to ride more quietly, so that the peloton would take it a bit easier too. I couldn’t convince my fellow-leaders though."