Stay Home Stories: Archie Ryan
In the column ‘Stay Home Stories’, the cyclists of Team Jumbo-Visma talk about t...
Team Jumbo-Visma has finished in the top ten with three riders in the Japan Cup. The Dutch team rode a strong race, but did not manage to take the win. The Americans Sepp Kuss and Neilson Powless finished fifth and seventh respectively, while Robert Gesink crossed the line in eighth place.
Koen Bouwman was part of the early breakaway. Four laps before the finish, Gesink rode the peloton to pieces on the climb. Bouwman was caught and a group of about fifteen riders remained. Team Jumbo-Visma was well represented with five riders. The Dutch team tried to take advantage of this surplus situation, but without result.
“We were the strongest team in the race, but tactically, we made a mistake”, Gesink said. “We tried to take advanage of the fact that the numbers were on our side. We wanted to attack, so that riders like Woods and Mollema had to work early on in the race. Steven attacked, but when he was caught, Sepp attacked and that was no good. He released his teammates, so we lost our surplus of riders. From that moment on, we always were a step behind. That’s a shame, because things could have turned out well today. I don’t know whether we could have beaten Mollema, because he was just very smart and strong.”
Occasional sports director Richard Plugge had also seen a strong team. “Our plan was to be involved in every attack, in particular to get the teams of Mollema and Woods to work. That worked perfectly. We were present in every breakaway, with Koen in the leading group of the day. Unfortunately, we had to acknowledge the superiority of the Mollema and Woods duo, who were very strong on this tough course.”