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"We saved the legs for tomorrow. I want to try to get into the breakaway tomorrow or the next day, that is the main ambition. I want to finish off the season the right way."

Photo: Sirotti

LAURENS TEN DAM

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ROBERT WAGNER

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TEAM JUMBO-VISMA

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VUELTA A ESPAÑA

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11.09.2014 @ 21:15 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Having lost Robert Gesink due to personal matters, Belkin will target stage wins and a top 15 for Wilco Kelderman in the final part of the Vuelta a Espana. Today Laurens Ten Dam tried hard to join the early break.

 

Belkin Pro Cycling TEAM's Wilco Kelderman battled to 24th in a steep, explosive uphill finale in Thursday's 18th stage at the Vuelta a España. Belkin battled on following the departure of team captain Robert Gesink, who was poised seventh overall, but left the Spanish tour for personal reasons.

Kelderman picked up the baton, and climbed up one position to 14th overall, at 20:05 behind race leader Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo). Fabio Aru (Astana) won the stage. 
 

The pace was brisk right from the gun in the hilly, 157km stage ending with two passages up the Monte Castrove climb as teams fought to ride into the breakaway.


"It was a really hard start. I tried to be in the breakaway. Everyone was chasing each other," said Belkin's Laurens ten Dam. "In the end, only three guys went away. It was pretty easy, until the final climb. It was down to 40 guys, and I was there to help Wilco. We saved the legs for tomorrow. I want to try to get into the breakaway tomorrow or the next day, that is the main ambition. I want to finish off the season the right way."
 

With Gesink gone, Team Belkin will ride to protect Kelderman's stop in the top-15 with three stages left in the Vuelta.


"It was full-gas this morning for 50 or 60kph. It hurts a lot, but you make a lot of kilometres in a short amount of time, so that's good. We did well," said Belkin's Robert Wagner. "The goal for us was to bring Wilco in good condition at the bottom of the climb. For us, that was job done, and that was it. We will all work to protect Wilco in these coming days."

The 69th Vuelta continues Friday with the 180.5km 19th stage to Cangas de Morrazo. The route features two climbs and short kicker in the close five kilometres that could deliver a breakaway victory. 

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