Team LottoNL-Jumbo’s Victor Campenaerts time trialled to fifth place in the Vuelta a España stage 19 today in Calpe. Campenaerts clocked 48 minutes, 20 seconds for the 37-kilometre stage – nearly two minutes behind stage winner Chris Froome (Sky) with 46-33. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) remains in the overall lead with LottoNL-Jumbo’s George Bennett moving up to 11th.
"It went well, I had the power in my legs to ride a good time trial,” Campenaerts said. "More than this was impossible. Since my selection for the Vuelta, I've been working for this stage. We previewed the time trail several times and I was able to go full-gas.”
Campenaerts rode in the Belgian champion jersey. "Every time, it’s an honour to race with this jersey, especially so in a grand tour.”
Bennett moves up
George Bennett rode a good time trial and placed 25th, enough to move up the overall classification.
"Normally, I'm not good at time trials. And often, I lose places in the general classification after a time trial. In the beginning, it was hard and I did not know what to expect. When I passed the rider who had started ahead of me, I thought I was riding a good time trial.
"I was sure that it was a good time when the sports directors complemented me at the finish. It is nice to be able to ride so well at the end of a grand tour.”
Sports Director Addy Engels was in the car behind Victor Campenaerts and George Bennett. "Victor rode a good time trial as we had hoped,” Engels added. “George showed that he is in good shape. For a non-specialist as he is, it was a good ride. We are happy with the result.”
Robert Gesink rode mostly with his mind on tomorrow's summit finish stage up Aitana. "I don’t want to call it a day off, but I was able to just have a training day. Tomorrow, it is first a battle to get into the escape group and if that succeeds, it is then a fight to stay clear of the peloton.
"I already had a top finish on the Aitana stage one time and that gives me the motivation to do it again. I felt good in the last week, and I’m hoping for the same tomorrow.”