Robert Gesink looking for Lombardia result after Worlds disappointment
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Friday, October 4, 2013

Robert Gesink looking for Lombardia result after Worlds disappointment

by Ben Atkins at 6:04 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro di Lombardia
Dutchman hoping to capitalise on Canada form to go better than 2009 ninth place

robert gesinkRobert Gesink is hoping for a continuation of the form he showed in Canada, in September, as he starts this weekend’s il Lombardia at the head of the Blanco Pro Cycling team, when the race will take place on a Sunday for the first time. The 27-year-old Dutchman won an uncharacteristic sprint finish at the GP Québéc, to pair his 2010 victory in the GP Montreal, but - along with most of the peloton - pulled out in the extreme conditions of the World championship road race last week.

Since then, Gesink has remained in Italy, where he has been reconnoitring the final 120km of the 242km race.

“And I did that for a reason”, said Gesink. “Of course it's nice to escape the bad Dutch weather at the moment but that’s just a bonus. I’m ambitious. I want to take what I can get at the end of the season. This is a race for men with a big engine.”   

Gesink finished ninth in the 2009 edition of what was then called the Giro di Lombardia, and his victory in Québéc - which followed fifth overall in the Tour of Alberta - gives him hope for a best ever result on Sunday.

“I hope that Belkin can get a good result,” he said. “The Worlds didn’t go according to plan for me but that does not say anything. Before that race, I did quite well. My morale is high and I’ve proven in the past that I can do well in Lombardia.”  

Belkin is putting its strongest possible line-up on the Lombardia start line, despite many of its number suffering ill-fortune in the World championships. While Gesink will be the team’s undisputed leader, each member will have a specific role to play.

“Laurens [ten Dam] crashed during the Worlds and isn’t completely recovered but he’s a very good supporting rider,” directeur sportif Nico Verhoeven said. 

“Lars Pette [Nordhaug] did well in Florence and is fine,” Verhoeven expained. “He and Tom-Jelte Slagter will be free to force an early escape. Hopefully they can be valuable for the team in the final. Stef Clement, Bram Tankink and David Tanner are strong helpers who know exactly what to do."

"Lombardia is always a battlefield. It is a fair contest and we are capable.”

Belkin Pro Cycling team for il Lombardia
Stef Clement, Laurens ten Dam, Robert Gesink, Lars Petter Nordhaug, Tom-Jelte Slagter, Bram Tankink and David Tanner


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