Gesink loses 22 seconds in the Tour de Suisse prologue

Robert Gesink’s Tour de Suisse did not start as good as he expected. The Team LottoNL-Jumbo front-man placed 77th and lost 22 seconds to winner Tom Dumoulin (Giant – Alpecin) in the prologue.

“Robert was quite good in the first kilometres,” Sports Director Nico Verhoeven said after the race. “The second part of the time trial was not fast enough. He lost about seven seconds more than we hoped for. 22 seconds is quite a lot, but this was only five kilometres of a whole tour on the other hand. When you look at the other overall riders, the damage isn’t that big. It doesn’t say anything about his form. It was about seconds today and it will be about minutes in the upcoming mountain stages.”


Verhoeven recognised that riding a prologue is a specialty and Team LottoNL-Jumbo doesn’t have any specialists in Switzerland. “Sep Vanmarcke rode a good prologue, Mike Teunissen and Paul Martens, too. But we have to see how the following days will be. Today was only a snapshot of six minutes.”

Vanmarcke finished 23rd and had mixed feelings about it. “It’s positive that I’m doing better in time trials every time,” he explained. “It’s a pity that I’m just out of the top 20, but I miss a little bit of race sharpness after my training camp at altitude, last week, on the other hand. We will see if that training camp worked for me this week, but I’m feeling good at the moment.”

No doubt

The first test for the overall riders is already on Sunday, when the stage covers a tough climb 13 kilometres from the finish. “We expect that it will be a stage for the overall riders,” Verhoeven added. “Robert Gesink and Laurens ten Dam must be in front. I have no doubt they will be able to be there. I think that they’re two of the best uphill riders here in Switzerland.”

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