Robert Gesink to lead Rabobank in Amstel Gold Race
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Monday, April 11, 2011

Robert Gesink to lead Rabobank in Amstel Gold Race

by Ben Atkins at 1:00 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Amstel Gold Race
 
Dutch team sending top team to try to win home classic for the first time in ten years

robert gesinkRabobank will send virtually all of its Vuelta al Pais Vasco team to this weekend’s Amstel Gold Race in a bid to win its home classic for the first time since 2001. The orange team’s last winner, who was also the last Dutchman to take the race, was Erik Dekker, now a Rabobank sports director.

The race has changed since Dekker’s day though, and now finishes at the top of the famous Cauberg, in the Limburg town of Valkenberg. Because of this, the team will be built around 24-year-old climber Robert Gesink.

Gesink has been in good form since the beginning of the season; he won the Tour of Oman in February, and has followed it up with second place in Tirreno Adriatico and third in Pais Vasco. Many of these results can be attributed to the 24-year-old’s vastly improved time trialling, but it will be his climbing that he will be relying on this weekend if he wants to get over the 32 hills that pepper the course.

Three-time World champion Oscar Freire will be present in the event of a bunch sprint; Oscarito finished second on stage 3 of Pais Vasco, but will hope he gets a better lead out than he did on stage 5, where Luis León Sanchez got in his way and then gave him a push to get him going again. Sanchez and Carlos Barredo will also make up part of the team but Juanma Garate will be going to the Vuelta a Castilla e Leon this week.

Replacing Garate will be “Hero of Roubaix” Maarten Tjallingii, whose third place on Sunday was the Netherlands’ best since 2004.

The team will be directed by Dekker and Frans Maassen.

Rabobank team for the Amstel Gold Race:
Carlos Barredo, Oscar Freire, Robert Gesink, Paul Martens, Grischa Niermann, Luis Leon Sanchez, Bram Tankink and Maarten Tjallingii.

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