Kruijswijk fights for Catalunya stage win

Steven Kruijswijk fought for 180 kilometres in an escape, attacked and placed 12th in Saturday’s stage of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya. The Dutch Team LottoNL-Jumbo-rider made his last move at 1.5 kilometres to race, but Sergei Chernetski (Katusha) won the stage.

“It was our plan to have Steven Kruijswijk in the early breakaway,” Sports Director Frans Maassen said. “Steven had a good position in the general classification, and the breakaway never got a big advantage. Some of the leaders were a little bit angry with that, but they did a great job in the end. Steven did everything to win the stage. He tried to escape, but the others would not let him free. You have to be a little bit lucky in such a stage final.”

Without such luck, Kruijswijk was a bit disappointed. “When you’re in the final of the race with the leaders, you always want to win,” he said. “That’s why I’m disappointed, but I had a good day on the other hand. I tried to break away from the others several times and I did my best to exhaust them too. I know that my chances are better when it is as though as possible for everyone.”

The sixth stage in Catalunya unfortunately marked a low point for Team LottoNL-Jumbo when Laurens ten Dam was involved in a big crash. “That was a shock,” Maassen said. “It didn’t look good. It was a bad crash and we only can hope that Laurens didn’t fracture anything.”

Youth classification
The team’s other riders will have to ride the last stage without Ten Dam. “It’s most likely going to be a sprint with around 40 riders,” Maassen added. “We are trying to save Wilco Kelderman’s top 10 position. He will win the youth classification as a result of that. All together, that would be a good performance, especially with so many good riders in this race.”

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