Van Dijke sprints to fifth place in final stage Giro d'Italia, Team Visma | Lease a Bike proudly looks back on grand tour with setbacks

Van Dijke sprints to fifth place in final stage Giro d'Italia, Team Visma | Lease a Bike proudly looks back on grand tour with setbacks

Capital city Rome was the setting for the final stage of the Giro d'Italia. In the expected bunch sprint Tim van Dijke claimed a fifth place. It was the second top-five finish in this Giro for the 24-year-old Dutchman. Furthermore, Jan Tratnik and sports director Marc Reef look back on a grand tour with highs and lows.

In the streets of Rome, Van Dijke was led to the front at the right moment by teammate Edoardo Affini. In the sprint, only four riders were stronger. “It took me a bit too much energy to get to the front of the peloton”, Van Dijke said afterwards. “With another place in the top five I can certainly be happy. I don't have the pure speed like guys like Merlier and Jonathan Milan. This a fine end to a fine Giro for me.”

Sports director Marc Reef looks back on the first grand tour of the season with mixed feelings, although pride prevails. “It stings that we didn't actually get to show what we are capable of”, says Reef. “Unfortunately, we suffered a lot of setbacks as the Giro progressed. I am especially proud of the way we overcame those setbacks each time. We kept our spirits high. Of course it was difficult at times, but given our neverending efforts and Olav Kooij's stage win, we can look back on a fine grand tour.”

"great to see how the riders, but also the staff members, managed to show resilience"

Marc Reef

Kooij won the ninth stage with arrival in Naples. Team Visma | Lease a Bike was one of nine teams that managed to get a stage win in this Giro. “Our goal in this Giro was to win stages”, Reef added. “We were therefore very pleased that Olav - who was riding his first grand tour - was able to win a stage. In the first week things were not going well, but on that day all the puzzle pieces fitted. The win was a huge boost for the team. We felt that many great moments could follow, but those bright prospects were wiped out two days later by the abandonments of Olav and Cian Uijtdebroeks.”

“Our remaining quartet gave it their all to make the best out of it. For example, Jan Tratnik immediately came close to a stage win on stage ten, before taking another nice place of honour on stage nineteen. Furthermore, Tim seized his opportunity in the sprints, which he rewarded with a fourth and fifth place. Attila and Edoardo showed themselves several times in the breakaways. It is great to see how the riders - but also the staff members - managed to show resilience. For Attila, Edoardo, Jan and Tim, the Giro was a main goal this season, but the last two weeks they had to take on a different role than planned. They did that with verve and they took their chances. My compliments to them”, he concludes.

Tratnik finished his eighth grand tour in Rome. “It remains special to ride the last stage of a grand tour”, said the 34-year-old Slovenian. “When you reach the finish line, the results you achieved don't matter for a second. I look back on this Giro with pride, especially because of our perseverance. We have to be satisfied with Olav's stage win. I think he could have won more stages, but we will never know. After the abandonments, we kept fighting. It would have been easy to throw in the towel as a team, but we did anything but that. The atmosphere in the team gave me confidence to keep going. The most important thing is that we showed character. A lot of people saw that.”

Giro d'Italia

Stage 21



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