Stay Home Stories: George Bennett
In the column ‘Stay Home Stories’, the cyclists of Team Jumbo-Visma talk about t...
Disillusioned, Team Jumbo-Visma has left Liege-Bastogne-Liege, the last spring classic of the season. Laurens De Plus competed for a top ten position for a long time and eventually finished in seventeenth place. Robert Gesink crashed hard and sustained a broken right collarbone and a fractured pelvis. As a result, the Dutchman won’t be able to start in the Giro d’Italia.
In a soaking wet Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Team Jumbo-Visma lacked a bit of luck. In addition to Gesink, Antwan Tolhoek also had to abandon the race. Tolhoek suffered from hypothermia symptoms.
After La Roche-en-Faucons, team leader Laurens de Plus found himself in a group that sprinted for eleventh place. He finished seventeenth.
Gesink’s injuries meant a big disappointment for sports director Addy Engels. “Robert crashed badly in the descent of the Mont-le-Soie. It was very slippery due to the rain. This is a big blow for himself and for the team with regard to the Giro. Robert was an important pawn for Roglic. He is strong, he has shown to be riding at a good level and he is very experienced. We will definitely miss him in the mountains.”
De Plus, who will also assist Roglic in the Giro, was shocked. “This is a big loss for the team. Robert was doing really well the last weeks. When I look back at my own race I was too far behind at La Roche-en-Faucons. I was able to fight my way back, but the best riders in the race were already gone. On the Cote des Forges I tried to join an attack by Van Avermaet and Gilbert. I thought it was possible with this weather, but there was no cohesion. You also have to be lucky in such a race. However, my form is good with regard to the Giro.”