Cycling | 22 april 2018
Team LottoNL-Jumbo ready for Giro after Liege-Bastogne-Liege
Team LottoNL-Jumbo have fine-tuned their form for the Giro D’Italia in Liege-Bastogne-Liege. The Dutch outfit failed to achieve a top result in the last spring classic of the season however.
Until the Roche-en-Faucons, Robert Gesink fought for a place in the top fifteen. When the stronger teams went full gas on the penultimate climb, he had to give in and he eventually became twenty-fourth.
Gesink had hoped for a better result today, but he looked back on his Ardennes campaign with a positive feeling nevertheless. "Liege remains a tough race. It was so exhausting that I was completely ‘en bloc’. This race is mainly about positioning yourself. I wasn’t badly positioned, but I wasn’t positioned perfectly either. When they increased the pace towards the Roche-en-Faucons, I lost a few bicycle lengths that I couldn’t make up for anymore. I continued to fight until the finish, I had good legs and that gives me confidence towards the Giro, my main goal of the season. I think we have a strong and good team for the Giro in general. Even when you look at the boys’ performance in the Tour of the Alps this week.”
"We have to accept it as it is", sports director Frans Maassen said in his post-race commentary. "This was more or less in line with our expectations. We did the best we could today. Robert wasn’t riding badly, but he was isolated towards the Roche-en-Faucons. If they go full throttle there, and you're not among the first, you're knocked out in advance. Robert didn’t have a teammate who could bring him to the front at that moment. Maybe he could have been in the first group. Everyone has fought to the best of their abilities today. We sent a strong team to the Tour of the Alps and we’ll send a strong team to the Tour de Romandie this week. The team has performed satisfactorily.”