Breukink emphasises need to allow Rabobank’s talented young riders to develop
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Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Breukink emphasises need to allow Rabobank’s talented young riders to develop

by VeloNation Press at 8:23 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Acknowledges talent of Robert Gesink, Steven Kruisjwijk and Bauke Mollema

Rabobank’s technical director Erik Breukink has emphasised the importance of allowing the team’s talented young GC contenders time to develop, reasoning that it would be counter-productive to raise too many expectations around Robert Gesink, Steven Kruisjwijk and Bauke Mollema.

"They have all been successful in taking a top ten on a Grand Tour. For their development, the Tour is the logical next step,” he said, according to Cyclism’Actu. “But we should not immediately put too much pressure on these young men.”

Breukink’s urging of patience stems in part from their age; Gesink is just 25, although he has finished seventh and sixth overall in the Vuelta and sixth in the Tour. He won the Tour of Oman this year.

Mollema is one year younger and this year finished fourth overall in the Vuelta a España. He added the points classification to that performance. Kruisjwijk is also 24 and has ridden strongly in 2011; he nabbed a stage plus third overall in the Tour de Suisse and was ninth in the Giro.

Age aside, Breukink is also cautious about pressure because the route of next year’s Tour features almost 100 kilometres against the clock.

“Can they do a great Tour de France, while there are a lot of time trials and they have to improve further in that area?” he asked. “But they have talent, there is no disputing that. Gesink is the most experienced and he has already been one time sixth in the Tour and has also produced two top tens in the Vuelta.”

The Dutch climber recently returned to training after suffering a bad leg fracture in September. He broke his femur and had to have a pin inserted to help the recovery. Rabobank press officer Luuc Eisenga told VeloNation last week that the team isn’t sure when he will be able to return to racing, but that the most important thing is that his recovery is at a pace to avoid any complications.

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