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Wilco Kelderman rides to the start line
"My goal is to stay in the top ten" Dutchman says
After nine stages in the Giro d'Italia, Belkin's team captain Wilco Kelderman, sits in eighth position and is on track for his pre-race aim of a top ten in GC. "The most important thing for me is to remain in the top ten," he told the AD newspaper.
The Belkin rider enjoyed his first overall victory in the Tour of Denmark last year, cementing that position in the time trial on the last day. Kelderman is eyeing the time trial from Barbaresco to Barolo on Thursday.
"There are not many time trial specialists in this field so climbing to a top five position after Thursday should be possible."
Next year Kelderman plans to make his debut in the Tour de France which starts close to his home in the city of Utrecht but first he gets to gain valuable experience as a team captain in the Giro d'Italia.
On Saturday he finished third on Montecopiolo, behind winner Diego Ulissi and Robert Kiserlovski. "I surprise myself again and again. I didn't see that third place coming. When I am able pass all these big names in the final metres, it surprised me. I've finished in the top ten over and over. It's going very well."
The Giro is Kelderman's second Grand Tour. In 2013 he also started in Italy to support team leader Robert Gesink. The young Dutch rider finished 17th after his teammate left the race on the penultimate day. Belkin brings its young star with caution but the second rest day, today, was not even necessary for Kelderman.
"I am going to take an easy spin, I guess. I am not tired. Everything has been quite easily up till now. The legs feel fine so far," he commented. "But the Giro is still long. I am not looking at [Cadel] Evans because he got his advantage as a present after a crash but for me the most important thing is to stay in that top ten."