Gesink attacks again in last mountain stage Vuelta
Robert Gesink has once more demonstrated his strength in the Vuelta. The rider of Team Jumbo-Visma also attacked in the last mountain stage and fought for the day's victory. Gesink ultimately fell short, in part because of the classification riders' quick pace.
After Primoz Roglic had dropped out, Team Jumbo-Visma kept attacking and was able to stick to the plan for today’s stage with no less than five climbs. Early in the stage, Gesink attacked alongside colleague Rohan Dennis and ended up in a sizable leading group.
"It was a very tough stage, but we managed to stick to the plan”, Gesink said. "Rohan played an important role in it. He rode a strong stage, though the riders in our group did not cooperate well. A little later, I countered Richard Carapaz after he had escaped. I had a good rhythm and I came very close to him, but I didn’t have enough resources left to close the gap. Mentally I was strong again today, but the legs were maybe a few percent less good than two days ago."
"A grand tour is the most beautiful race there is"
Gesink indicated that he learned from such a stage. "But I'm already 36 years old and don't get many chances anymore. I know what you should and should not do in a breakaway. I am more of a tempo climber and not very explosive. The competition knows that. I will finish this Vuelta with a satisfying feeling. I had to get myself back together again after the loss of Primoz, but pretty quickly I found my motivation again. A grand tour is the most beautiful race there is. I love to be able to race for three weeks. Unfortunately, there are only three in a season.”
"The plan was to fight from the breakaway for the day's victory”, sports director Addy Engels said. "In that respect, we succeeded because we competed for the win. The guys fought as hard as possible, but unfortunately, some riders were stronger today. The will to fight is admirable after Primoz dropped out. Our team’s five remaining riders shifted focus pretty quickly. Despite the setback we had to overcome at the beginning of the week, we tried every day to take the day's victory. And we will try again tomorrow. We hope to end this Vuelta in a beautiful way.”