Gesink upbeat prior to first Giro d’Italia, aiming for top five finish or better
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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Gesink upbeat prior to first Giro d’Italia, aiming for top five finish or better

by VeloNation Press at 6:35 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
Kelderman and others to give full backing to Blanco Pro Cycling team leader

Robert GesinkAlthough he was back in 54th place in last week’s Tour de Romandie, Blanco Pro Cycling’s Robert Gesink has said that he believes his condition should ramp upwards in time for the Giro d’Italia, and that he expects to perform well there.

“I would have liked to have built up a bit more confidence in Romandy, but I know from myself that I will usually have a few dips in the week after hypoxic training,” said the Dutch climber, referring to recent high altitude work in Tenerife. “The real benefit hits me about a week after, so I am not at all concerned.

“As a team, we rode very well in Romandy and dotted the i’s. I am very satisfied with that. In the run-up to the Giro, I’ve done everything possible to perform well and I am confident that the goals we have formulated are attainable.”

Gesink has taken several big wins, including the 2010 GP Montreal, the 2011 Tour of Oman and the 2012 Tour of California. The 26 year old also has a fifth place GC result in the Tour de France to his credit, as well as three top-seven overall finishes in the Vuelta a España.

This will be his first time to ride the Giro d’Italia.

Gesink’s Tenerife preparations saw him work alongside Wilco Kelderman, Steven Kruijswijk, Stef Clement, Jack Bobridge and Juanma Garate. They all head to the Giro, as well as Jan Boven and Michiel Elijzen.

Team director Jan Boven is pinpointing a top five finish overall, or more. “Perhaps even a spot up on the podium,” he said. “We are headed to Napels with a positive feeling. The guys who did the altitude training have shown they are fit – just look at Stef Clement who rode three top-ten finishes in Romandy and Wilco Kelderman, who took the white jersey and fifth in the GC.

He also said that Paul Martens may target high placings in the sprints, but only if it doesn’t clash with the GC aims.

Kelderman showed strong form in the Tour of Romandie and will make his Grand Tour debut in Italy. “The training camp in Tenerife did me a lot of good,” he said. “I lost a bit of weight but picked up some uphill strength.

“In Romandy, I was fit the entire week and could climb with the best of them. That gives me a lot of confidence headed into the Giro where I intend to work hard for Robert.”

Blanco Pro Cycling for Giro d’Italia:

Robert Gesink, Steven Kruijswijk, Wilco Kelderman, Stef Clement, Jack Bobridge, Juanma Garate, Paul Martens, Maarten Tjallingii and Maarten Wynants


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