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Kruijswijk keeps third place after exhausting Pyrenees stage

Kruijswijk keeps third place after exhausting Pyrenees stage

Steven Kruijswijk has retained his third place in the general classification after the fifteenth stage of the Tour de France. The Dutchman of Team Jumbo-Visma lost some time on rivals like Pinot and Bernal, but he took 27 seconds on the yellow jersey and stayed in Geraint Thomas’s wheel.

There wasn’t a moment’s peace during the stage from Limoux to Foix Prat d’Albis. With five kilometres to go, Pinot attacked and Kruijswijk kept the damage to a minimum.

“I stayed in Thomas’s wheel”, Kruijswijk said. “I couldn’t follow Pinot, so I had to pull myself together. We rode to the finish line as fast as possible in order to reduce the damage. I wasn’t bad, but one day you’re better than the next.”

On the penultimate climb, Laurens De Plus and George Bennett led the group with favourites. “We know it was going to be a hand-to-hand fight. On the Mur de Péguère, we were with three men still and Landa attacked. On the climb, we chased at a good pace and Laurens did his job in the descent with a few other guys. You have to try something and a hard race is better for me.”

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Sports director Frans Maassen had seen a strong leader. “It was thrilling with the changing situations. Steven was under pressure, but he pulled himself together. It’s close. The last week is going to be thrilling, but Steven is well-positioned and he has shown he’s in good shape.”

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