Robert Gesink's victory in the Giro dell'Emilia showed that he made the right decision to miss the world championships in Australia and focus on the end of season hilly classics. The Rabobank rider won the Italian race for the second consecutive year, for his third win of the season.
“It was the first time that I have started such a big race with number one on my back,” he said on the Rabobank website. “That gave me a very special feeling, I must confess. And then to win, too. That makes it a very nice victory. And I know that it does not happen often.”
Passing up on the world championships was not an easy decision, he acknowledged. “You only have one race a year in which you can ride for your country. That is special,” he said. “But I made an informed decision and opted for the fall classics in Italy. It is very good when you win the first race immediately. It is confirmation that my choice was the right one and gives me a lot of satisfaction. "
The remaining two races on his 2010 calendar are the GP Beghelli on Sunday and the Giro di Lombardia next Saturday. His thoughts on the closing Classic? "Philippe Gilbert is for sure the favourite. But I saw that Jakob Fuglsang rode very good. He rode tactically very strong.”
Rabobank directeur sportif Franz Maassen was proud of the 24-year-old Dutchman. “With the number one on your back it is hard to win anywhere,” he told the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf. “This is a special accomplishment by Robert. He was already one of the great ones, and now he has the results to join the great men.” Gesink joined Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali as two-time consecutive winners of the race, and is the first non-Italian to do so.