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“I had a bit of a difficult year,” Gesink explained. “The Giro d’Italia was difficult and didn’t go as planned, so this victory means something special. I’ve had to work very hard for it.”

Photo: Sirotti






14.09.2013 @ 07:57 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

With an impressive final effort, Robert Gesink won the Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec Friday. The Belkin Pro Cycling Team cyclist rode a powerful final kilometre and out-sprinted French champion Arthur Vichot (FDJ) and Greg van Avermaet (BMC) on the slightly uphill arrival.


“I did not expect that this uphill finish still remained after such a gruelling race with all those little climbs,” said Gesink. “I'm still a little bit shaky. It was not a flat sprint, it was pretty hard, but I'm still a bit surprised. Apparently, everyone was exhausted.”


The Quebec win lifted a burden off Gesink’s shoulders.


“I had a bit of a difficult year,” Gesink explained. “The Giro d’Italia was difficult and didn’t go as planned, so this victory means something special. I’ve had to work very hard for it.”


Gesink immediately fell in the arms of his girlfriend and daughter at the finish. When the Belkin Pro Cycling Team rider won the 2010 Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal, his girlfriend had already left for home after being on training camp through America with him. He added,

“She regretted that so much.” Gesink showed her what she was missing and repaid her support with the Quebec today.


With his victory in Quebec, Gesink is the first rider to have both Canadian WorldTour classics on his palmares. “The races here are very hard, everyone is at his max in the final so that even I can win a sprint,” he explained.  “And on Sunday? Who knows. I 'm feeling really good. Anything is possible.”


“This is what you hope for, but I would not have dared to dream about his," said Sports Director Frans Maassen. “We told Robert that he had to wait until the very last moment because we thought he could win the sprint. It’s incredible that he was able to succeed in that way.”


Maassen had positive words for the entire team. Gesink’s teammates left him on his own to do his work at three kilometres from the line. “They did an excellent job," said Maassen. “We agreed not to go along with an escape unless riders from teams BMC and Cannondale were there. When three BMC riders jumped, Jack Bobridge did a great job by jumping along with them. Everything went according to plan. Eventually, we ended up with three men in the top 20 with Robert, Tom-Jelte and Paul. All in all, I'm a very happy man.”


The fourth edition of the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal is scheduled for tomorrow.



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