Tolhoek tenth in opening stage Ruta del Sol
Antwan Tolhoek has finished tenth in the first stage of the Ruta del Sol. The 15...
The first mountain stage in the Tour of Catalunya hasn’t gone as planned for Team Jumbo-Visma. Sepp Kuss seemed to be able to claim a place on the podium for a long time, but in the end had to settle for sixth place in the day’s results. Steven Kruijswijk lost one minute and thirty seconds on stage winner Adam Yates.
About nine riders decided to go for it at the beginning of the race. The lead grew to twelve minutes. Thanks in part to the efforts of Team Jumbo-Visma, the gap was brought back to three minutes at the foot of Vallter 2000. Early on the climb the favourites started to attack. First it was Alejandro Valverde who decided to shake things up. Kuss was able to follow and was then also on the alert when Yates placed an attack. Two kilometres from the finish, the Brit placed the decisive attack. Kuss crossed the line 33 seconds later, just outside the top five.
"I think Sepp was the second best in the race today."
Sports Director Grischa Niermann was bummed afterwards. “I think Sepp was the second best in the race today over the whole final climb. Only Adam Yates was better, because nobody was able to match him. Unfortunately, Sepp blew himself up in the final kilometres. It’s a shame then that he ended up finishing sixth. We had hoped for more. In retrospect the stage victory was not going to happen.”
"We’re going to review the situation tonight with all of them."
Unfortunately, Steven Kruijswijk and George Bennett were also unable to stay close to the winner. “Steven and George had a lesser day. We’re going to review the situation tonight with all of them and from that the plans for the coming days will come.”