Stay Home Stories: George Bennett
In the column ‘Stay Home Stories’, the cyclists of Team Jumbo-Visma talk about t...
LottoNL-Jumbo’s Wilco Kelderman failed to meet expectations during the first mountain stage in Paris-Nice, falling off the pace of the best riders in the last three kilometres to Croix de Chaubouret. Australian Richie Porte (Team Sky) grabbed the stage victory, Kelderman finished 26th with a delay of 1 minute and 24 seconds.
“We wanted more, for sure,” sports director, Jan Boven said. “We worked for this really hard. The preparation was good and so where the first days here in France. Everything seemed to end up as we had planned. Wilco had good preparation, too.” In the fifth day of Paris-Nice, there were some serious mountains, including the finish line up the Croix de Chaubouret climb. “Today was a big target. We were hoping for a better result. The reason of this is hard to explain, but it’s clear he didn’t had a very good day,” Boven added. “The stage final was hectic. In that final, he already knew that his strength had faded. He gave everything he had to keep his loss small, so that was good to see.”
“I had an off day”, Kelderman said. “My legs felt bad in the end and I wasn’t able to reach my normal level. I’m mad about that. Now, I have to change plans immediately, whereas before, I wanted to go for a good general classification.” The climber feels Paris-Nice is not over, on the other hand. “There are more chances to come. A good general classification isn’t longer a possibility, but maybe I can take my revenge in the last two stages. I’m looking forward to the uphill time trial, this Sunday, anyway.”
All the way for Moreno
“Today’s disappointment changes our plans for the rest of Paris-Nice,” Boven continued. “In tomorrow’s stage, We will go for Moreno’s chances, even more than we did in the last days. Until today, we divided our attention between Moreno and Wilco in the flat stages, but tomorrow, it will be completely for Moreno. Besides that, next stage is the biggest chance for an early breakaway to make it until the end. We’ll keep our eyes on that option for a stage win too.”