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“It is important to get as many race kilometres as possible in my legs. Algarve features a few hard stages, but I won’t back down. At the end of the week, I’ll see how I responded," Kruijswijk says

Photo: Belkin Pro Cycling Team

BRAM TANKINK

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MAARTEN WYNANTS

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SEP VANMARCKE

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STEVEN KRUIJSWIJK

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TEAM JUMBO-VISMA

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VOLTA AO ALGARVE

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WILCO KELDERMAN

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16.02.2014 @ 15:06 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Following surgery over the winter, Steven Kruijswijk will return to racing in the Volta ao Algarve which starts on Wednesday. While the former Tour de Suisse stage winner will only be looking to accumulate racing kilometres, the team hope that Wilco Kelderman can target the general classification.

 

Dutchman Steven Kruijswijk returns to the peloton in the Volta ao Algarve next week, February 19 to 23. The Belkin Pro Cycling Team rider underwent groin artery surgery last September and worked hard this winter to recover.

 

He looks forward to his racing return. 

“I’m excited,” said Kruijswijk. “It's been a long winter for me but fortunately, I had few setbacks. I was able train often. Now, I’m curious to see how I respond in racing because a training ride is not a race. I’ll have to wait and see how it goes when I dig deep. I’m confident, however. I’m ready too. Other races have already begun and I feel the itch to get going.” 
 

Kruijswijk’s main goal in Portugal will be to gain race rhythm.

 

“It is important to get as many race kilometres as possible in my legs. Algarve features a few hard stages, but I won’t back down. At the end of the week, I’ll see how I responded. I hope that I’ll be good for the Tour of Catalonia but I do not want to look too far ahead yet.” 

Kruijswijk, like the rest of his team-mates, will have a chance to show himself in the Algarve. Sports Director Nico Verhoeven explained that all his riders are free to have their chance in the stage race. 

“We don’t race to train but in the first race of the year everyone needs to dot the i’s, and that’s why they have their freedom. Everyone. We are allowing all of the guys to take the initiative and to try something.” 
 

Verhoeven, after looking over the tricky finals - especially the brutal summit finish on the Alto Malhao - and the 13-kilometre time trial, said that Wilco Kelderman will be Belkin Pro Cycling Team’s man to watch. Kelderman placed 15th in last year’s race. 

“Normally Wilco would be our man for this race but we won’t approach this race like we have a real leader.” 

 

Last year Belkin won two stages in the Portuguese event, with Paul Martens and Theo Bos triumphing on the first two days of the race.
 

Belkin for the Volta ao Algarve

Marc Goos, Wilco Kelderman, Tom Leezer, Rick Flens, Steven Kruijswijk, Bram Tankink, Sep Vanmarcke and Maarten Wynants

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