Kruijswijk wants to carry good feeling into Tour of the Basque Country
From Monday, 3 to Saturday, 8 April, Team Jumbo-Visma will take part in the Tour of the Basque Country. For Steven Kruijswijk, the Spanish stage race will be another step in the search for his best form following a long recovery. In addition, the Dutchman hopes to guide leader Jonas Vingegaard to overall victory.
Kruijswijk has not had the best of times. The 35-year-old Team Jumbo-Visma cyclist was seriously injured in a crash during the 15th stage of last year's Tour de France and suffered fractures to his shoulder and collarbone. "It was a difficult time. I was out of contention for a long time. So the fractures in my shoulder and collarbone were very complicated", he says. "Despite my good winter preparation, I felt like I was missing the race rhythm and a certain intensity. I still lacked that at the beginning of the season."
"Step by step, working towards my best level"
Last week, Kruijswijk completed the Tour of Catalonia after beginning his season at O Gran Camino. "Catalonia was a good race to improve myself. Since my crash last year, it has been the first genuinely challenging race. Right now, it's crucial that I make steady progress toward my best level. I got off to a strong start again, and I am happy that I could contribute to Primoz winning the classification. My shape improved by the day."
In Basque Country, Kruijswijk has two goals. "Winning the overall classification with Jonas is the main goal. I'll do everything I can to assist him. I think he will be even stronger next week than he was in Paris-Nice. On a personal level, I strive to perform at the highest level possible. That way, I can take steps again for the rest of the season."
In addition to Kruijswijk, Team Jumbo-Visma's selection for the Tour of the Basque Country consists of Jonas Vingegaard, Rohan Dennis, Attila Valter, Gijs Leemreize, Sam Oomen and Lennard Hofstede.