Maglia Bianca and Third Overall after One Week Giro d’Italia
The Blanco Pro Cycling Team continues to rack up the positive results in the Giro d’Italia. With four men in the top twenty, the time trial played out according to plan. Stef Clement ended up in a handsome fifth, whilst Robert Gesink moved up to third place in the General Classification and Wilco Kelderman captured the white jersey. Despite the good showing, the men in the Blanco camp are well aware of the fact that there are two more weeks of racing.
Jan Boven spoke of a very good day, but did not want to be too euphoric. He knows the real prizes will be handed out in Brescia. “It was another good day”, said the Sports Director, who added, “Every day is important in a Grand Tour but this one a little more so. In the time trial it is about minutes and seconds and then you simply have to be at your best and that we were today. We actually did better than we even hoped for. Today is a good close to the first week but we can’t forget that there are two more weeks to go. We have to stay sharp. Our goals have been set for a three week tour.”
With his fifth place finish, Clement was the best Blanco rider. He looked back with satisfaction on his good classification. “I am pleasantly surprised. Funny how you can still surprise yourself at thirty. Immediately after the ride, I did not have the impression that a top five spot was in the mix. I missed a turn relatively early on when I wanted to overtake and from there on I was a bundle of nerves on the bike. That also affected my descent. On top of that, it’s not easy to stay balanced and spread your energy effectively over 55 kilometers. But I am well pleased with this fifth place result.”
Day by day
Despite the fact that Gesink had a tough outing, he was very pleased with his eleventh place and the resulting third in the general classification. Despite the early virtual spot on the podium, he remains fully grounded. “A time trial such as this is always brutal but I think I can be very pleased with the result. It felt good right from the start and I was able to maintain my revolutions at a good pace. The first week has gone well. We’ve been up front as a team at the right moments and like the rest of the lads, I am in good form. In a Grand Tour, I take it day by day. For the moment, it’s going well and I hope it stays that way.”
For Kelderman, his excellent fourteenth place finish – in spite of a tumble induced by a blocked rear wheel – earned him an invite to the podium. After the finish in Saltara, the 22-year old received the Maglia Bianca. “To wear the white jersey in my first Grand Tour is super. After I took the youth classification in the Tour of Romandy, I harbored the idea that I might repeat it here, but to actually do it is very cool.