Vuelta a España: Breschel sacrificing chances in service of his team
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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Vuelta a España: Breschel sacrificing chances in service of his team

by Kyle Moore at 10:31 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España
Dane still sheltering Gesink as he tries to regain fifth place

Matti BreschelAfter missing the charms of Lady Luck for much of the last two seasons, Matti Breschel (Rabobank) entered the Vuelta a España on a solid streak of form, since picking up a sprint win in the Vuelta a Burgos and riding strongly in the regional Spanish race.

But Breschel has tabled his own ambitions in the Vuelta. The race has lacked finishes that suit his characteristics, and perhaps the Dane will simply be relieved to complete the Grand Tour unscathed, should he make it to Madrid on Sunday without incident. So the Dane has helped to keep his Rabobank team-mates out of trouble as they have been in a three-week battle for the team classification with Robert Gesink, Laurens ten Dam and Bauke Mollema.

Though he just took part in his first bunch sprint on Thursday, finishing seventh on stage 18, he was still working for Gesink during the stage.

The lithe Dutch rider, currently in sixth overall, is looking to peg back just 26 seconds on fifth placed Dani Moreno (Katusha). Gesink got a four-second time bonus at the second intermediate sprint of the day, a move which Breschel and his Rabobank squad helped set up.

“Robert saw his chance and tried to grab it immediately,” said Rabobank director Adri van Houwelingen. “It typifies his conviction and the conviction of the team. We still look forward and the Vuelta is not done for us.”

Breschel noted his familiarity with the Valladolid finish, and having done his early chores, was looking forward to going for a good place.

“I knew the last bit and was really motivated,” Breschel stated. “I had a good feeling. It was a hectic sprint. Before that, I tried to help Robert. Of course it is easier to sprint if you only have what you need to concentrate on, but we are here for Robert and Laurens. The work to be done for them comes first, and then we see what happens in the sprint.”

“Matti is asked to play a role for our guys in the overall standings, and he does so without complaining,” continued van Houwelingen. “But he obviously has good legs now. He feels strong enough now to win a bunch sprint in the Vuelta. Of course we would love to go after it, but in order to do that we have to wait and see how things develop in the next two stages.”


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