Team LottoNL-Jumbo licked its wounds during Thursday’s second stage of the Vuelta a Andalucía. Sports Director Merijn Zeeman would have liked to see Moreno Hofland at front in the stage that Juan Jose Lobato (Movistar) won, but after yesterday’s heavy crash, he knew that was not going to happen.
“I’m pleased with how the men survived the day,” Zeeman said.
Five of his riders were involved in Wednesday’s big pile-up, which made the 194-kilometer stage from Utrera to Lucena difficult.
“This morning it was like an ER in our hotel with all those men who needed new bandages. We had hoped to join the battle for the stage win with Moreno today, but after yesterday, he understandably lacked the energy to make it over the final climb. Of course, that’s a pity, because our ambition was to fight for stage wins this week.
”Laurens ten Dam suffered the most and lost time again on Thursday. “But today I was able to quietly follow the peloton and used as little energy as possible,” Ten Dam said. “I was able to recover on the bike, which pleases me.”
Wilco Kelderman and Tom Leezer finished in the first peloton with stage winner Lobato.
“That’s a good sign for tomorrow,” Zeeman said. “It’s going to be a heavy, but beautiful stage. We’re familiar with the long and steep final climb because we often visit the Sierra Nevada for altitude training camps. It’s going to be a big fight.
“Steven Kruijswijk is doing pretty well despite his crash. I hope he and Wilco can be up front tomorrow. We’re going to make a plan to help them.”