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“I’ve been suffering like crazy. My performance is pretty good. I’m happy with this first uphill finish. It was short but much more enjoyable than the previous stages."

Photo: Belkin Pro Cycling Team










28.08.2014 @ 20:01 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Belkin kept their options open in the first mountain stage of the Vuelta a Espana as the team's three GC riders all finished in the top 15. Robert Gesink and Laurens Ten Dam were pleased with their sensations in the first big test of the race.


The Belkin Pro Cycling TEAM’s classification riders had a rough time in the sixth stage of the Vuelta a España today, but nevertheless did well. Robert Gesink finished the 167.1-kilometre stage in La Zubia, the first summit finish, in tenth and moved up to seventh overall. 

Laurens ten Dam and Wilco Kelderman finished 13th and 14th and moved to 10th and 21th overall. Spaniard Alejandro Valverde of Movistar won the stage and took over the leader’s red jersey. 

“I went all-in on the final climb. It was my best, so I’m happy with it,” said Gesink. “The climb was very hard, especially as it was a hot day again. The sprint to the final climb was very hectic because everyone wanted to be in the front and the roads aren’t very good in this area.


“I’ve been suffering like crazy. My performance is pretty good. I’m happy with this first uphill finish. It was short but much more enjoyable than the previous stages. The tempo set by Movistar was incredibly high. Nobody could give them a turn. And Contador! For somebody who broke a leg at the Tour de France, he’s good!”


Ten Dam went into his red zone on the final climb.


“It climbed for four kilometres and was straight uphill with an average gradient of 10 per cent,” said Ten Dam. 

“Valverde set the pace and really hurt me. I cursed him. I suffered a lot in the final three kilometres, but in the end, this is a great result. I did better than in the first mountain stage of the Tour.” 

Ten Dam finished the Tour de France ninth after a disappointing start. 

Sports Director Erik Dekker was satisfied.


“We’re pretty close to the best five men in the race with three of our riders. There are still a lot of mountains left, but today looked good. 

“I see opportunities for a break tomorrow, but if it comes down to a sprint, I think there are opportunities for our very own Paul Martens.” 



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