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Leemreize makes Team Jumbo-Visma smile during difficult day in Giro

Leemreize makes Team Jumbo-Visma smile during difficult day in Giro

Team Jumbo-Visma has not been able to fully enjoy Gijs Leemreize’s excellent performance in the fourth stage of the Giro d'Italia. While the grand tour debutant became sixth, the general classification riders didn’t perform as expected.

After the travel and rest day, the cycling peloton descended on Sicily, where the riders had to climb the mythical Etna from Avola. Shortly after the start, fourteen riders broke away. Leemreize was the first to join them. The 22-year-old rider from the Dutch Achterhoek region made a strong impression and, together with his breakaway companions, created a gap.

On the Etna, Leemreize held on for a long time, but at five kilometres from the finish, the youngster had to let five other escapees go. He finished in sixth place. "My compliments for Gijs. He rode an excellent final”, sports director Marc Reef said. "It's great to take sixth place at the first opportunity you get during your debut in a grand tour. He managed to bring us joy."

For Team Jumbo-Visma’s classification riders, the day did not go as well. Tom Dumoulin was unable to keep up with the pace early on in the climb and Sam Oomen and Tobias Foss were also dropped relatively early on. Oomen and Foss eventually lost two minutes to the general classification riders. "Losing two minutes on the group of favourites is never a good sign", Reef said.

"We started here with ambitions for the GC, so it's a shame if you have to let the guys go at eight kilometres from the end. We have to recover from this. We will use the upcoming stages to see how Tobias, Sam and Tom's shape will develop."

Dumoulin had no explanation for his lesser performance. "My body doesn't react the way I'm used to. I worked hard to come to the start here in the best possible shape, but I don't have the right legs. I can’t explain why."

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