Tour de France: Gesink and Mollema both vigilant and attentive in Seraing
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Monday, July 2, 2012

Tour de France: Gesink and Mollema both vigilant and attentive in Seraing

by Kyle Moore at 7:58 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
Dutch GC hopes pleased after first stage, nothing broken for Sanchez after late stage crash

Robert GesinkThough it was an uphill finish, yesterday's stage one of the Tour de France put up a run-in that was a bit too flat and fast for Rabobank team-mates Robert Gesink and Bauke Mollema to contest. However both riders were successful in staying near the front and out of trouble in a hectic finale.

Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) took the stage ahead of Fabian Cancellara (Radioshack-Nissan), while both of Rabobank’s general classification hopes finished in the top ten, a positive indication of their current form and dedication to staying up front and out of trouble.

Most of the stage was ridden at a relatively slow pace, given the inescapable fact that it was stage one of the Tour de France, when nerves are often high. The pace became much more intense in the final 20 kilometers, which Gesink spoke about at the finish.

“It was just like last year, on the first day [of the Tour],” he stated. “It was not too bad on that day. But it’s still the Tour. You must always be alert. The team put together some good teamwork. I am well off. It was nervous in the front but in terms of positioning the team did very well.”

Gesink knew that a category four climb at the finish would not be an accurate indicator of overall form, but he would add confidence after the solid performance.

“Tomorrow is actually not much different than today. It’s always nervous at the start but I’m glad the first two days are over now and that it went well,” Gesink added. “Today went well for me and Bauke. Was I very good on the final climb? Yes, but you have to be, because you have to get a good place. It says something, but not everything. It’s not comparable to the high mountains, but it’s good for the confidence.”

Prior to Sunday’s fifth place, Mollema has shown he is capable of a fast finish, having taken second in a sprint on a Tour stage last year, and then grabbing the points jersey at the Vuelta a España.

“It was a good finish for me,” Mollema said in Seraing. “It was very nervous on that climb, while the whole day was actually rather quiet. But the final climb was full gas. If you can be at the front, then that’s a good sign.”

“This is more of a confirmation that they are in good shape,” Rabobank team director Nico Verhoeven added. “The result gives the other guys from the team a lot of confidence. Not all climbers went as well on that final as our two guys did. This was a good start for us.”

Meanwhile, Rabobank got a bit more good news after Luis Leon Sanchez was taken to the hospital after hurting his left wrist in a crash with twenty kilometers to race. Sanchez finished the stage but lost four minutes.

X-rays showed that nothing was broken for the Spaniard, and he started Monday’s stage.


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