Kooij ninth on first stage ZLM Tour
Surprisingly, the first bunch sprint of the ZLM Tour did not take place. Olav Ko...
Primoz Roglic has finished the thirteenth stage of the Giro d’Italia in the same time as his GC rivals. The mountain stage, shortened due to weather conditions, saw little action among the favourites.
The organisation decided this morning that the stage would start at the foot of the Croix de Coeur. The finish line was at the top of Crans-Montana, just under 75 kilometres later. The pace was high from the start. Five riders broke away before Rubio sprinted to victory.
Roglic was well protected by his teammates on the climbs and the dangerous descent. The GC riders endured a few pinpricks in the final kilometre, but Roglic and general classification leader Geraint Thomas held their own.
Sam Oomen was one of Roglic’s lieutenants today. “We were in the group of favourites with five riders. We went up the first climb fast because the pace was high from the start. It was a crazy stage, but it was the only right decision to shorten it. Too bad for the people at home, but it was irresponsible to ride the first part of the stage today as well”, Oomen said.
"We knew that the battle would start on the first climb"
“Our main goal today was to protect Primoz well during this special test”, sports director Arthur van Dongen said. “We did a good job. We knew that the battle would start on the first climb. The fact that we were able to surround Primoz with four riders is satisfying. Primoz looked sharp. This gives us confidence for the last eight stages of this Giro. It is clear that there is still a lot to come.”