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“I was really beaten at the line. I felt limited by my shoulder the whole day because I couldn’t sit like I normally do. Besides that, the stage was far from easy. I’m glad that I made it to the finish," Kruijswijk says

Photo: Belkin Pro Cycling Team






16.05.2014 @ 21:13 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Belkin were hit hard by yesterday's crashes as Steven Kruijswijk and Rick Flens both came away from the incidents with crashes. However, the pair are still in the race and they survived yesterday's tough stage.


After the massive crash in yesterday’s sixth stage, it was all about survival for the Belkin Pro Cycling TEAM in today’s Giro d’Italia. France’s Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) won the seventh stage from Frosinone to Foligno in a bunch sprint. 

“It was a moving day for us as we could have lost some men today,” said Sports Director Frans Maassen. “Along with Jetse Bol’s hard crash earlier on in the week, Rick Flens, Steven Kruijswijk and David Tanner were victims yesterday. Fortunately, everybody was able to take the start today and we’re very glad that no one really got into trouble, although Jetse was dropped on the final climb.” 

Bol feels pain in his neck and back, Flens has a broken finger, Kruijswijk has a small fracture in his shoulder, Tanner struggles with a sore knee and Wilco Kelderman is covered in scrapes. Everyone finished today and team leader Kelderman managed to finish safely in the first group. He remains 12th overall. 


Despite his broken finger, Flens is trying to look at things from a positive point of view. 

“Given the circumstances, it was quite a good today,” explained the Dutchman. “I survived the stage and that’s what mattered. I could not use my handlebars, but that’s just how it is now. I can sit here and complain, but I want to make the best out of it. 

“I hope to get through the next two tough days so I can take some time to recover during the rest day on Monday.” 

Kruijswijk was suffering on his bike today.


“I was really beaten at the line. I felt limited by my shoulder the whole day because I couldn’t sit like I normally do. Besides that, the stage was far from easy. I’m glad that I made it to the finish.


“My fall throws spanner in the works, but after my good start, I really want to continue the race. Hopefully, things will get better by the day.” 


Despite all the setbacks, the Belkin Pro Cycling TEAM tried to change the course of the 211-kilometre stage.


“We knew a break-away would have a good opportunity today,” said Maassen. “Maarten Tjallingii and Jos van Emden attacked at the beginning of the stage, but unfortunately, they didn’t succeed in making the group.” 


The next two days will be the peloton’s first real test in terms of climbing. Maassen said, “They face two hard stages with some tough mountains. These will be the toughest days so far. The team will go through fire for Wilco, and then it’s up to him in the final. We’re going to see what he’s worth. I’m confident because Wilco is looking good.” 



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