Robert Gesink
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Robert mulls over Grand Tour options for 2016

Like the majority of Grand Tour riders Robert has a few difficult choices to make over the coming weeks when it comes to deciding on race plans for 2016.

With the Olympics and the fact that the Giro d'Italia passes through a region of the Netherlands where Gesink grew up, a simply snapshot decision to return to the Tour de France – where he finished sixth this year – is far from cut and dry. At least Gesink now has the knowledge of the full routes for next year's Giro and Tour to help make his informed decision, having been present at Tuesday's presentation for the 2016 Grand Boucle in Paris.

"It's pretty hard [the route] but you expect that. It's the Tour de France. There's one day less of climbing and a bit more time trialing compared to this year."

The Olympic road race, which follows the Tour later in August of next year, is one that suits climbers and Gesink is one of a hat-full of riders who will need to plan their seasons carefully in order to maintain form should he ride the Tour de France.

"I need to look more at the profiles for the Tour and then see what the plans will be. It's also an Olympic year so there's been some talk about not doing GC and maybe going for stages. It's a bit early and I don't know what my plans are yet."

Gesink will need to add his thoughts on the Giro d'Italia into the mix when it comes to formulating his programme. The route for the Italian Grand Tour is also relatively balanced, although it contains one additional time trial when compared to the Tour.

"For a Dutch rider, having a Grand Tour in your country, and with it going through the area where I grew up, that's interesting as well. It's a difficult choice but as I noticed last year the only race it's all about is the Tour. You can be perfect in the Giro but of course the Tour is the biggest race. Of course I want to be there in France next year as well."

Gesink also added that he would look at riding reconnaissance for some of the Tour de France stages, regardless if he targets the overall or stage wins.

"Maybe it's a good idea to look at the climbs you've not done before. That's what most of the favourites do. This year there wasn't much time to do any recon but in the end I don't think it cost me anything. It's something we'll look at in the next few weeks.

"I've been asked if the Ventoux is my kind of climb but in the end it's a hill and you need to ride up it as fast as you can. There's also going to be a lot of finishes after descents next year and that's where you can make differences. They're important to see as well."

Like the majority of Grand Tour riders Robert has a few difficult choices to make over the coming weeks when it comes to deciding on race plans for 2016.

With ...

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Robert abandons Tour de Pologne with fatigue

Robert pulled out of the Tour de Pologne on Tuesday morning just a few hours ahead of the start of stage 3. He rode to sixth place overall at the Tour de France in July and the exertion of that race, which finished just a week before the start in Poland, has taken its toll.

Gesink was a fairly late and surprising inclusion in LottoNL-Jumbo's plans for Poland and he will now rest up and prepare for the Grand Prix Cyclistes in Québec and Montréal, both of which he has won in the past.

"I'm exhausted after my hard-fought sixth place in the Tour de France," said the 29-year-old. "That's why I have to take some rest for a while, so I can prepare myself perfectly for the one-day races in Canada."

Robert pulled out of the Tour de Pologne on Tuesday morning just a few hours ahead of the start of stage 3. He rode to sixth place overall at the Tour de France

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Robert shines on Col de Soudet

Robert advertised his current good form Tuesday during the stage 10 finish in La Pierre Saint Martin, attacking the select lead group on the early slopes of the 15km final climb up Col de Soudet and eventually finishing fourth on the stage.

Gesink, who injured his knee in training earlier this year, moved from 15th overall at the start of the day to eighth by the end of the stage.

“I’m exhausted but happy,” Robert said of his stage 10 performance. “I saw people getting dropped but felt good myself and decided to be crazy and give it a go. We didn’t discuss anything, but I knew that when the big men began accelerating, they would go too fast for me. I anticipated and it worked out well today.”

Movistar led the peloton into the climb, hoping to set up team leader Nairo Quintana, but it was Gesink who jumped away first as word spread that the Movistar pace was starting to take a toll on the lead group.

Team Sky’s Richie Porte eventually pulled Quintana and teammate Chris Froome back onto terms with Gesink before Froome went on to take the stage, with Porte next and Quintana third.

Gesink held on for fourth, but he admitted later that he had thought briefly about the stage win.

“I thought about it for a moment,” he said. “But looking back, I should have done that. I don’t quite realise what has happened. Today I had a super day. I felt strong. I’m happy. I wonder what’s in store for me tomorrow.”

LottoNL-Jumbo coach Merijn Zeeman was ecstatic about Gesink’s result.

“Things didn’t always go as planned for us this year, and Robert has had his share of setbacks as well,” Zeeman said. “It is fantastic what he did today. I’m happy for him. I’m touched now and at a loss for words. This is wonderful to experience. We have to go a long way, though. We’re just getting started now because today was the first mountain stage."

Robert advertised his current good form Tuesday during the stage 10 finish in La Pierre Saint Martin, attacking the select lead group on the early slopes of the

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Gesink on track for top 10 overall

Robert finally appears to be back on track for a top result in the Tour de France after years of struggling to live up to his fourth place overall in 2010. After a tumultuous first week of the Tour de France, the "condor from Varsseveld" ranks 13th in the general classification after a good time trial and a strong performance on the cobbles and the Mur de Huy.

Robert has had a rocky relationship with the Tour de France since his near miss of the podium in 2010; he crashed on stage 5 in 2011 and finished well out of contention. He recovered from a severe leg break at the end of 2011 to return to the Tour in 2012, only to crash out on stage 6. In 2013 he was 26th after targeting the Giro d'Italia, and last year was diagnosed with heart rhythm problems that required surgery.

Gesink appears to have put all that behind him, and now eyes Saturday's stage to the Mûr de Bretagne, a 2km ascent that could be another test for the climbers in this Tour de France. Back in 2011, Gesink finished 16th on the climb, but he doesn't think it will make a big shake-up in the race this year.

“The Mur de Bretagne is another spectacular moment," he said. "In a way it’s important, but on the other hand it’s unimportant because it’s not a real col. It’s another checkpoint for which you have to be ready, just like every other day. I did it once before when Evans won. I’ll take a look at it tonight. It’s not to be compared with Huy.

“The mission is simple: going as fast as you can to the top and hoping that the others can’t do it that well," Gesink said. "That’s how you ride a general classification, it’s not all that spectacular,” Gesink said. “In this field one can hope to get the win but it’s not what I expect. I just hope to ride top 10 in Paris. Anything that lays in between I grab along.”

On Sunday, the LottoNL-Jumbo team will face the 28km team time trial from Vannes to Plumelec, and they seem ready for a good performance in the feared discipline. Before the race,Wilco Kelderman was one of the team’s dedicated leaders together with Gesink, but he hurt his back in a crash during stage 2 to Neeltje Jans. However, Gesink hopes that other teams will suffer more, especially those who have lost their time trial powerhouses like Tony Martin (Etixx-Quickstep), Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) and Fabian Cancellara (Trek).

“I hope Wilco is recovering well because he’s a very important part of our team," Gesink said. "He’s super strong. We’ve seen the 15km time trial in Utrecht and we were all super. We can have the ambition of clocking a good time. Everybody has to be healthy of course, but that’s the same for every team. QuickStep lost their big engine, same for Giant, Trek. There are many teams who are more severely wounded than us.

"Wilco went down in a hard crash. He’s pushing through hard times because he was in a lot of pain. I’m glad that the weather is good because it’s not easy to continue if it’s raining day after day. Now he can recover and hopefully show nice things and be an important factor in the team time trial.”

Gesink didn’t know what to expect from the team time trial, but he had high hopes that he would gain time over some of his rivals.

“Astana, Movistar, BMC still have their teams on the rails, but they’ve worked a lot during the previous stages so they might be tired," he said. "Before this Tour de France nobody would’ve noted LottoNL-Jumbo down as a possible winner of the team time trial. We’re very motivated to do well in it. It’s really a topic in our team. We will try to gain time on my rivals.”



Source: Cycling News

Robert finally appears to be back on track for a top result in the Tour de France after years of struggling to live up to his fourth place overall in 2010. Afte

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Heavy crash in Tour’s third stage

A heavy crash dominated the third stage of the Tour de France from Antwerp to Huy. Wilco Kelderman was involved in it and Laurens Ten Dam’s shoulder was dislocated because of it. After his shoulder was popped back in, he finished the stage. Robert placed 14th up the Mur de Huy, 22 seconds behind winner Joaquím Rodriguez (Team Katusha).

With around 50 kilometres to go, a big crash occurred on the right side of the peloton. Several riders abandoned the race because of it and it looked like Laurens ten Dam was one of them. His shoulder was dislocated.

“I said that they had to pop my shoulder back in,” Ten Dam said. “I have trained very hard, so I don’t want to abandon the race even before we enter France. As long as I’m in the race, it’s possible that I can recover. Tomorrow, I’m going to try it on the cobblestones. It will be painful, but afterwards, I have four days to recover. The Alps are just in two weeks and maybe everything is different at that moment.”

A tough one

“His bike was already on top of the car,” sports director Nico Verhoeven said. “We thought that he was out of the race, but he said that he didn’t want to leave the Tour and that his shoulder had to be popped back in. When we knew that the race was neutralised, he was able to return quietly. He was chatting quickly afterwards. Laurens is a tough one.” Kelderman came out of his crash with several abrasions. He is going to start on Tuesday as well.


Robert Gesink was glad that he came through the chaos without too much damage. “I passed it quiet good. The race was neutralised. That’s hard because the peloton is really stressed out at a moment like that. In the end, it didn’t escalate anymore, fortunately.


“The final was tough. A finish on the Mur de Huy is always spectacular and exciting. Bram Tankink brought me in good position for the Cote de Cherave and I gave everything I had on the Mur de Huy. It was my maximum.”

Source: LottoNL-Jumbo

A heavy crash dominated the third stage of the Tour de France from Antwerp to Huy. Wilco Kelderman was involved in it and Laurens Ten Dam’s shoulder was d

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Damage for LottoNL-Jumbo’s front men in Tour stage to Neeltje Jans

Wilco Kelderman and Robert lost time in the second stage of the Tour de France. Crashes and echelons told the story of the ride through the rain in Zeeland. Kelderman fell and lost more than five minutes. Gesink was held up by another crash and crossed the line 1-27 minutes later. André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) won the stage in a group with Chris Froome and Alberto Contador.

“It was a bad day,” sports director, Nico Verhoeven said. “We were proud on top of the classification yesterday, but we took a dive. We had nobody in the first group and that’s bad, especially when you’re having some ambitions in the general classification.

“It starts with Wilco’s crash. Laurens and Tom Leezer were involved in that crash too. Three men stopped to wait for them afterwards, but they left our other front man, Robert, only with Sep. That’s where it went wrong. Four men waited there with good intentions because Wilco is a front man too. We didn’t lose our ambitions in the general classification with Robert, but we did with Wilco, unfortunately.”

Bad luck
Robert  became the highlight of the day for a while, when he was part of the first echelon together with Sep Vanmarcke. “I was going quite well, actually,” he explained. “We already saw that the weather was turning and we prepared for that. I was well placed together with Sep, but when Nibali crashed, we ended up at the wrong side of the road. We had to ride there for four kilometres even before they started riding half-road. It was unlucky.”


The general classification isn’t lost for Gesink, who is out to prove that in Monday’s stage. “That’s going to be one for the overall riders,” Verhoeven said. “I think that the stage suits Robert. He was good today and fell out of the leading group because a little bit of bad luck. I expect him to finish with the best tomorrow.”

 

Source: Team LottoNL-Jumbo

Wilco Kelderman and Robert lost time in the second stage of the Tour de France. Crashes and echelons told the story of the ride through the rain in Zeeland. Kel

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Jump start Team LottoNL-Jumbo in Tour de France’s opening TT

Team LottoNL-Jumbo rode a good opening time trial in the Tour de France. Jos van Emden finished fifth in Utrecht, Wilco Kelderman had the ninth best time and Robert finished 11th – all well propelled by the home Dutch crowd on the 13.8-kilometre course in Utrecht. As a result, Team LottoNL-Jumbo leads the team classification. Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) won the time trial and took the general classification lead.


“I tried to manage my energy as well as possible,” Robert explained. “Some uncertainty means that I started a little bit too fast. I tried to focus on the rhythm of my legs. That worked. I wanted to feel the noise as much as possible on the other hand, because it helps you to ignore the pain. It was one long scream from the beginning until the end. That carried me on.”



Source: Team LottoNL-Jumbo

Team LottoNL-Jumbo rode a good opening time trial in the Tour de France. Jos van Emden finished fifth in Utrecht, Wilco Kelderman had the ninth best time and Ro

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Robert rides strongly in the Queen Stage of the Tour de Romandie

Robert finished 11th today in the fifth stage of the Tour de Romandie. The 28-year old Team LottoNL-Jumbo rider said he was content with his result after the Queen Stage.

“This feels like a magnificent performance to me,” said Gesink, who is riding his first stage race since the Volta ao Algarve in February.

“I’m glad with my level at the moment. I am still missing some power, which I noticed at the foot of the final climb when the tempo was upped, but I’m strong and my endurance is fine. I gave all I had, which enabled me to pick up a lot of riders on my way to the top. “

This was a serious test in a strong field of riders and it went well. At this moment, there’s no shame for me in losing about a minute to the winner.”

That was Thibaut Pinot. The Frenchman of FDJ was the strongest on the Champex-Lax climb, after the two escapees of the day, Maxim Belkov (Katusha) and Bryan Naulleau (Europcar), were caught. Ilnur Zakarin of Katusha is the new overall leader.

Robert finished 11th today in the fifth stage of the Tour de Romandie. The 28-year old Team LottoNL-Jumbo rider said he was content with his result after the Qu

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Gesink returns successfully

Robert Gesink suffered during the 205 kilometres between Waremme and the Mur de Huy, but enjoyed racing again. Robert finished in 25th place at 23 seconds behind winner Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).

“I’m happy to be back, I’m feeling like a cyclist again,” Gesink said.

“This was all I could do today after a long period without races, but I'm satisfied with my level. I'm happy the hard work paid off. My knee feels good, but I still miss some power.

“During the first kilometres, when the side-winds split the pack, I wasn’t able to keep the wheel of the rider in front of me. That’s never happened to me before as a professional. I’m quite tough, though, and when the rest of the riders were weakened, I was able to follow.”

Robert Gesink suffered during the 205 kilometres between Waremme and the Mur de Huy, but enjoyed racing again. Robert finished in 25th place at 23 seconds behin

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Robert Gesink will ride La Flèche Wallonne

Good news for Robert Gesink. The 28-year-old Team LottoNL-Jumbo rider will return to racing in April after a knee injury sidelined him for quite a while.

Gesink will race the Tour de Romandie, scheduled from April 28 to May 3, and will prepare for it in La Flèche Wallonne. The Belgian one day race will be held on April 22.

Good news for Robert Gesink. The 28-year-old Team LottoNL-Jumbo rider will return to racing in April after a knee injury sidelined him for quite a while.

Gesin

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