Tour de Suisse: Rabobank downplaying their disappointing Verbier result
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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Tour de Suisse: Rabobank downplaying their disappointing Verbier result

by Kyle Moore at 5:29 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de Suisse
Gesink, Kruijswijk, Mollema all concede time on Swiss mountaintop

Robert GesinkRabobank is racing with all three of its potential leaders in the Tour de Suisse, but the trio has stumbled out of the starting gate, two stages in to the race.

But having just come off of extended periods of training, Rabobank manager Nico Verhoeven insisted that there would be no need to panic after just two stages in Switzerland.

On the stage two summit finish to Verbier, Rabobank did not have a rider finish with the main bunch. Steven Kruijswijk was the last rider in orange to be dropped, losing contact just before the summit. He came home 15th, eight seconds behind the rider in front of him, and 33 seconds off the pace of Rui Costa (Movistar), the stage winner.

Tour of California winner Robert Gesink was shed earlier on the climb, and after he had nearly clawed his way back, we went deep into the red after an acceleration by Tom Danielson (Garmin-Barracuda) put him behind for good. He dropped one minute and four seconds to Costa.

Giro d’Italia noise-maker Tom Jelte Slagter was 37th at 2’05”, but Bauke Mollema was no where to be found, coming home 60th, in a group nearly three and three quarters minutes behind.

“To be honest, we were going for the stage victory today,” Verhoeven said. “If you consider that we were far from it, then it is disappointing. It initially looked good on that final climb. Laurens [Ten Dam] offered to conform to our agreement and he attacked while the rest sat well behind. But after the attack of Frank Schleck, Robert was put into difficulty, and later Stevie too.

“We were not good enough today. This can happen so soon after a high altitude training camp and a long journey.”

After taking fourth in last year’s Vuelta a España, it is easy to forget that the 25-year-old Mollema is still developing. The Dutchman did not race in the month of May, with his last result traced back to 17th overall in the Tour de Romandie.

“Mollema hasn’t raced since Romandie, but he has been working out in Alicante [Spain],” Verhoeven continued. “He did not have a good day, but sometimes you don’t have to look for an explanation. The confidence that it will all come good is there.”

After taking the title in California, perhaps the struggles of Gesink come as more of a surprise, but Verhoeven was not alarmed.

“Both Robert and Stevie are fine,” he insisted. “The time differences were not alarmingly high. There are now four transitional stages and then a couple of tougher mountain stages. We hope that they find the rhythm. There is no reason to panic. Not for this race and certainly not for the Tour.”

Mollema, Kruijswijk, and Gesink are all slated to start the Tour de France for Rabobank.


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