Rabobank to Suisse for Tour de France “dress rehearsal”
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Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Rabobank to Suisse for Tour de France “dress rehearsal”

by Ben Atkins at 12:43 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Tour de Suisse
 
Robert Gesink, Steven Kruijswijk and Bauke Mollema joint captains for Dutch team

robert gesinkRabobank heads into the Tour de Suisse, which starts on Saturday, June 9th, with a 7.3km time trial in the city of Lugano, with a three-headed team. The orange and blue squad will be jointly led by Dutchmen Robert Gesink - who won the recent Tour of California - Steven Kruijswijk and Bauke Mollema, as they head towards July’s Tour de France.

“The Tour of Switzerland is a good dress rehearsal for the Tour de France”, explained directeur sportif Nico Verhoeven. “It’s not for nothing that we’re riding with the three of them in Switzerland. It gives us the opportunity to sharpen our sense of riding together. This way, Bauke, Robert and Steven can get better used to working with each other. Our goal is to ride a good race, without pressure for a good result.

“We have to be in fine form when we leave Switzerland,” he added. “The first week of the Tour de France will be challenging, so we need to be ready for it. A good GC result in Switzerland will of course be good for morale going into the Tour, so we’re not going to pass up any chances.”

All three of the team’s Dutch captains have been training hard in Spain recently, with Gesink and Kruijswijk spending time in Sierra Nevada, and Mollema near his home. The climber from Groningen is looking forward to a return to racing, having been away from the peloton since April’s Tour de Romandie.

“I’ve been in Spain since mid May and have been training well here,” he explained. “I’m feeling good, so I expect to be in good shape in Switzerland. We’ll know right away where we’re at with that uphill finish in the first stage. The most important thing is to make it through this race in good form and to start the Tour de France feeling right.”

Also featuring in the team will be 22-year-old Dutch climber Tom-Jelte Slagter, who impressed in the hills of the recent Giro d’Italia, and the team’s Danish Classics specialist Matti Breschel; while the race will also see the return of Laurens ten Dam, who has recovered from the knee injury he sustained in the Tour of California.

Rabobank team for the Tour de Suisse
Matti Breschel, Robert Gesink, Steven Kruijswijk, Bauke Mollema, Grischa Niermann, Tom Jelte Slagter, Maarten Wynants and Laurens ten Dam.

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