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"Today it was also cold, but I felt good. It was a good test for the Giro. When it’s a long climb and hard stage it’s good for me. I think overall we are in a good way," Kiserlovski says

Photo: Trek Factory Racing








27.03.2014 @ 22:27 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

After finishing in the top 10 in Tirreno-Adriatico, Robert Kiserlovski continued his excellent start to the season when he took another top 10 result in today's queen stage of the Volta a Catalunya. As he is still battling a few health issues, he is happy with his performance that saw him move into 11th on GC.


The 166.4-kilometer queen stage ended in a shroud of cold fog as the riders battled up the 12-kilometer mountaintop finish. Emerging out of the thick blanket of cloud in the final meters was Tejay van Garderen (BMC), winning the stage just ahead of Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale), as Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) rolled across the line three seconds later.


Robert Kiserlovski held tough to the leaders until the final kilometers to finish in 10th place (+21”), and it was again the cold weather that affected him the most.


“It was cold, and I didn’t feel my legs so I did not try to jump with the attacks and just went my rhythm,” explained Kiserlovski. “I could not go full gas, and just had to keep a steady pace, but under the circumstances it was the best to do, and I am happy with how I finished."


The day started with cool but sunny conditions as a four-man breakaway escaped in the first 16 kilometers. After tackling four mountain climbs that preceded the final 12-kilometer ascent, the breakaway was mostly absorbed, with one rider, Thomas De Gendt (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), surging ahead in a spunky attempt to steal the win from the GC contenders.


Behind a few riders attacked from the peloton and bridged to De Gendt, offering him a brief respite from his solo effort, however, the pace from the GC contenders was too much; with a little over four kilometers to go all leaders were caught, and the battle for the stage, plus overall, was on.


The day ended well for the team with a solid result from Kiserlovski, but Julián Arredondo was a non-starter, dropping the team down to five riders.


“Unfortunatley, Julián did not start. He was sick two days ago and we tried to do something for him, but after two days of the same it’s better that he stop,” said director Alain Gallopin. “No sense to continue especially with this weather. Today Robert was a lot better than yesterday because the climb was longer and suited him much better, and Jens [Voigt] and Kristoff [Vandewalle] were super today in helping him. Giacomo [Nizzolo] is hanging tough – he did okay again today to make the time limit.”


Kiserlovski admitted that he was not at one hundred percent health today, but despite the conditions the team is dealing with they have rallied around him, and he views this as a postiive omen for the upcoming Giro d'Italia.


“We are all a little bit sick, same with me, so with the weather and my feeling I am very happy with the result,” continued Kiserlovski. “The whole team helped a lot today. 


"Yesterday I had some problems with the cold weather, I did not have bad legs, I just could not feel my legs, and that hurt me in the last kilometer. That was too bad, as I know I would have been in the top ten to start today.


"Today it was also cold, but I felt good. It was a good test for the Giro. When it’s a long climb and hard stage it’s good for me. I think overall we are in a good way.”


Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) finished in fourth place for the stage to hold on to his leader’s jersey, as Contador kept his second place in the overall (+04”) and Van Garderen, with his win, moved up to third (+07”).  Kiserlovski has slotted into 11th place (+48”), and with three stages still to go the final classification battle is far from over.


You can read our preview of stage five here.



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