Robert Gesink (Rabobank) may have lost almost three minutes during stage 3 of the Critérium du Dauphiné, but the young Dutch rider was confident that he could learn from the experience ahead of the Tour de France.
Wednesday’s 42.5km time trial around Grenoble was a carbon copy of the Tour’s penultimate stage and Gesink feels that the rolling course is one that should see him limit his losses to the specialists in July.
“The route suits me well, with an altitude gain of about 600 metres,” Gesink told Telegraaf.nl. “It’s better than the flat time trial last year in the Tour around the vineyards of Bordeaux.”
Although he finished 2:49 behind stage winner Tony Martin (HTC-Highroad) on Wednesday, Gesink believes that the experience will help him when it comes to his second attempt at the course in six weeks’ time. “I now know what gears I can go with,” he explained.
Rabobank directeur sportif Adri van Houwelingen echoed his rider’s comments and stressed that the time trial’s importance was as a dress rehearsal for the Tour.
“By the standards of today, it [Gesink’s performance] is clearly not very good, but we’re not unhappy with the difference between Robert and his likely Tour rivals,” van Houwelingen told Rabosport.nl. “Robert is not super, but that’s not a bad thing. He can get better and will be better the next time. We’re not worried and neither is Robert.”