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"As usual, we’re aiming for a good finish in the overall standings, but in this case, we have to take a wait and see approach. On Sunday we’ll see how fit the guys are and what expectations are realistic,” sports dire...

JACK BOBRIDGE

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LAURENS TEN DAM

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ROBERT GESINK

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ROBERT WAGNER

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STEF CLEMENT

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STEVEN KRUIJSWIJK

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TEAM JUMBO-VISMA

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VOLTA A CATALUNYA

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16.03.2013 @ 11:12 Posted by Jesper Johannesen

With Robert Gesink, Steven Kruijswijk and Laurens Ten Dam, Blanco enters this year's Volta a Catalunya with three riders normally able to fight for a good GC result. However, illness and crashes forces the team to take a cautious approach to the Spanish race.

 

While the excitement build for the year's first major classic, some of the world's best GC riders have a completely different focus as they look to fight for victory in the mountainous WorldTour race Volta a Catalunya which starts on Monday.

 

 

Blanco enters the race with the hope to bounce back after disappointing performances in Paris-Nice and the Tirreno-Adriatico. However, the bad luck which affected their overall ambitions in the French race make it impossible for the team to make any firm plans for the Spanish race.

 

Team leader Robert Gesink was one of the pre-race favourites for the Paris-Nice, but ended up abandoning the race on the penultimate day with respiratory problems. He has since tried to recover, but his condition ahead of the Catalan race is uncertain.

 

Steven Kruijswijk was another unlucky rider in France as a crash made his presence completely invisible. Meanwhile, another of the team's GC riders, Laurens Ten Dam, has had a small break from racing to build up to his first season targets in the Tour of the Basque Country and the Ardennes Classics, and so his form is somewhat of a question.

 

With lingering doubt over all three captains, sports director Merijn Zeeman takes a cautious approach to the race.

 

“With Robert, the big question is how well he has recovered from Paris-Nice as he had to abandon the race there," he said. "The same goes for Steven who took a spill. Laurens was in preparation for the Tour of the Basque Country and the classics and did not race for three weeks. In the meantime, he has also been sick. As usual, we’re aiming for a good finish in the GC, but in this case we have to take a wait and see approach. On Sunday we’ll see how fit the guys are and what expectations are realistic.”

 

The leaders will be joined by domestiques Stef Clement - who also had to abandon Paris-Nice due to illness Jack Bobridge and Moreno Hofland and sprinters Robert Wagner and Jetse Bol. Wagner and Bol will try to make the most of the race's few sprint finishes. Bobridge and Hofland replace Juan Manuel Garate who is ill and Marc Goos who has just had surgery on a broken collarbone.

 

You can follow the Volta a Catalunya every day live on CyclingQuotes.com/live.

 

Rabobank for Volta a Catalunya

Robert Gesink, Steven Kruijswijk, Laurens Ten Dam, Moreno Hofland, Jack Bobridge, Stef Clement, Jetse Bol and Robert Wagner

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