Robert Gesink was able to maintain himself in the front group in the Tour de Romandie’s second stage today, but could not play for the win. The Team LottoNL-Jumbo Dutchman finished the 166-kilometre stage between Apples and Saint-Imier in 42nd place.
Swiss rider Michael Albasini of Orica-GreenEDGE won the sprint ahead of a decimated peloton and claimed the overall lead thanks to bonus seconds.
Gesink suffered, but felt satisfied that he was able to follow the best men in what was no easy day.
“I wasn’t at ease in the first group, I had to give everything, but for now, this is OK,” Gesink said.
“It was quite a difficult stage with a fair amount of climbing. Right from the start, the racing was on. The team took good care of me, however. It was a nice race day.
“We must be careful and not expect too much from this tour straight away. Personally, things cannot go fast enough for me. I would’ve loved to get in the mix today, but I think it’s still too early to expect real results. These are my last steps to full fitness, but also my first steps towards results. I really miss the edge compared to the others.”
Pushing new boundaries
Sports Director Erik Dekker sees Gesink is on the right path, but warned against exaggerating.
“We entered this tour without expecting too much,” said Dekker. “Today, you could see that Robert needs to adapt his fitness and that means he’s breaking boundaries.”
Dekker hopes that Tom Van Asbroeck can mix in the sprint on Thursday even if he knows that the course is not really up the Belgian’s alley.
“You always have a chance, but I expect Tom to have a small chance tomorrow,” added Dekker.
“Things depend on the way the race unfolds and how he digests the two second-category climbs. They are situated reasonably far from the finish line, but the second follows shortly after the first, which can be a problem.”