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"Moreover, there was a crosswind and so the peloton never was able to take it easy. That was all to our disadvantage, but things like that you just cannot control. It was not to be today."

Photo: Belkin Pro Cycling Team






21.05.2015 @ 20:52 Posted by Andy Pedersen

Team LottoNL-Jumbo again tried to take the bull by its horns in the Giro d'Italia today. Nick van der Lijke was part of the day’s breakaway in the 12th stage and Steven Kruijswijk accelerated on the final climb, but Philippe Gilbert ended up winning the 190-kilometre day in an uphill sprint to Vicenza.


Van der Lijke, who won the second intermediate sprint of the day, led the race with Enrico Barbin, Kenny Elissonde, Patrick Gretsch and Davide Appollonio for nearly 90 kilometres. At about 60 kilometres from the line, when the rain was already hammering down on the riders, all five men were reeled in by the peloton.


“It was attack after attack during the first 75 kilometres,” Van der Lijke recalled afterwards. “I jumped often, but every time the group was taken back by teams who had missed out. In the end, everyone was tired, and I was able to create a gap along with four others.”


“We didn’t get much space, though, as we already had covered some distance into the stage. Moreover, there was a crosswind and so the peloton never was able to take it easy. That was all to our disadvantage, but things like that you just cannot control. It was not to be today."


Van der Lijke hopes to show himself another time this Giro.


“I’m ready to fight and would like to try again. Steven has attacked a few times and we have to switch a bit. Hopefully, next time I hang on longer.”


Sports Director Frans Maassen admitted afterwards that Kruijswijk’s move wasn’t really an attack.


“It was more a precaution to start the descent in the front as the rain made things quite dangerous. You saw that with several crashes.”


Friday’s thirteenth stage leads the peloton from Montecchio Maggiore to Lido di Jesolo. It’s a 147-kilometre flat ride.


“A sprinter stage,” Maassen said. “We have explored the stage and are well-prepared. The wind could play a role, but I expect a bunch kick. As a team, we will make sure that Moreno Hofland is able to get involved in the sprint. That is going to be a challenge.”



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