Rabobank unsure about tactics for third stage in País Vasco
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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Rabobank unsure about tactics for third stage in País Vasco

by Bjorn Haake at 3:40 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

Two sprints in two days should have been the ideal scenario for Rabobank's fast man Oscar Freire, but he came up short both times. On Monday he was disqualified for leaving his line and squeezing out Alejandro Valverde. On Tuesday, he honestly lost the sprint against Valverde. Sports director Frans Maassenwas unsure about the tactics for the following days.

The Dutchman has to juggle the sprint finishes with the overall interests of Robert Gesink, who sits among those 22 riders only one second behind Valverde. "We don't know yet what we will do on Wednesday," Maassen said on the team's website. "We would love to win a stage, but the overall is the most important for us."

Rabobank was riding strongly again in today's windy second stage, trying to get Freire in the best position. "The team can serve two leaders, that is obvious. Oscar is of course a guy who can find himself a wheel, but you need the team to control the bunch and I think that will be easier on Wednesday than today. Hopefully we will find some collaborators."

The team is ready to support Gesink in his quest to win the general classification. "Most guys are in good form. Laurens ten Dam had some trouble with his respiratory system yesterday, but he was very strong today. Robert Gesink rode extremely strong. We could really see that Monday on the penultimate climb, where he left a really good impression. Paul Martens was solid once again."

Maassen admitted that Freire's disqualification is still frustrating the team. "The relegation on Monday is still on Oscar's mind, on my mind and on the mind of the rest of the team. The disqualification was unjust. If we apply those same guidelines, we will have to look at a lot of bunch sprints with a magnifier."

At least there was no question about today's outcome. "Valverde beat Oscar on equal terms. Oscar himself agrees with that, with respect for Valverde."


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