It is back to the drawing board for Team Blanco at the Giro d''Italia, as captain Robert Gesink fell victim to the bad weather conditions on Saturday and fell out of the top 10. The team admitted that his loss of time was “a hard blow”.
"A podium is now out of reach. We will begin with a 'plan B' come and make our best to do something to make this Giro,” sport director Jan Boven told the ANP news agency. “That will be tough because we had full confidence in our plans and did not think of other scenarios.”
On Saturday's 14th stage, which was run in heavy rain, occasional snowfall and cold temperatures, Gesink lost over four minutes before finally arriving at the finish atop the Jafferau. The slender Dutchman later tweeted, “Got so cold I couldn't move my legs anymore at the last climb.”
“In the run-up to the last climb he had problems with the cold, but because of the fast pace he could not change clothes," said Boven. He could barely make it up the final climb. “Then it was mainly trying to keep the damage limited. The guys had been waiting for him and protected him, but Robert could barely follow. "
Gesink fell from fourth place overall at 2:12 down, to 11th place and 6:40.