Rabobank eying overall glory on two fronts in Vuelta a España
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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Rabobank eying overall glory on two fronts in Vuelta a España

by Ben Atkins at 10:01 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España
 
Robert Gesink and Bauke Mollema both aiming for the general classification after crashing out in France

robert gesinkRabobank has become the latest team to name its nine-man roster for the upcoming Vuelta a España, which begins with an evening team time trial on Saturday, August 18th. The orange and blue team endured a torrid Tour de France in July, where crashes and illness saw just four of its riders finished. Recent weeks have been more successful for the Dutch team however, with victories in Burgos, Utah, and the Eneco Tour, which was capped by Luis León Sánchez’ Clásica San Sebastián victory yesterday.

Sánchez himself will not be starting his home tour on Saturday, but the two riders that contributed most to his victory - by blocking the chase of the peloton behind him - will spearhead the team’s Vuelta ambitions.

“We have a few nice weeks behind us, we are hoping to continue that line,” said directeur sportif Adri van Houwelingen, “but we also have to be realistic and not expect we will win everything just like that.”

Gesink and Mollema were both forced out of the Tour by some of the crashes that ravaged the race’s opening week. Both have fully recovered however, with Gesink performing strongly in the Olympic Games road race - where he was part of the large race-winning break - and both riding strongly at the Vuelta a Burgos, where Gesink finished sixth.

Both will now take on the Vuelta where they will look to produce what they were not able to at the Tour.

“They are eager to do that now,” said van Houwelingen. “With them we are going for the GC.

“It’ll be hard, but all the riders in the team are in shape,” he explained. “They’ve showed that in the last competitions, so we have to be able to handle this. We obviously really want to win a stage. I think that, considering the course, especially Bauke will have a really good chance to do so. But Lars Boom and Matti Breschel have also put their mind to winning.”

Both Breschel and Boom have been successful in recent weeks, with the former, Danish rider, taking a stage victory in Burgos, and the Dutch former World cyclocross champion taking the overall Eneco Tour victory.

The team’s Dutch riders will also doubtless be looking to hone their form ahead of the World championships in Limburg, Netherlands, which will come shortly after the race, while Saturday’s team time trial will also provide some of the team with a dress rehearsal for the Worlds’ new event.

Rabobank team for la Vuelta a España
Lars Boom, Matti Breschel, Stef Clement, Laurens ten Dam, Juan Manuel Garate, Robert Gesink, Bauke Mollema, Grischa Niermann, Dennis van Winden

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