Rabobank gets a second leader’s jersey as Slagter’s is forced to abandon
Stage 5 of the Giro d’Italia was marred by an accident involving Tom Slagter with 25km to go. The Dutch neo-pro was conscious when taken to hospital where he is reported to have been diagnosed with a broken jaw - but fortunately - no other serious injuries. Rabobank thus had mixed feelings at the time of celebrating Peter Weening’s stage win and taking of the maglia rosa. Morale was further boosted though when it transpired that the team had also taken the maglia bianca with Steven Kruijswijk.
"It’s a nice feeling to get the white jersey", Kruijswijk told Cyclingnews after the podium ceremony in Orvieto. "I didn’t expect it at all. In fact I went to the team bus and didn’t even think that I might have become the best young rider. I haven’t even looked at the best young rider’s classification so far in the Giro."
"Whatever classification jersey it is, to wear one in a Grand Tour is something special", said the 24 year old who was the fourth best young rider at the Giro last year (behind Richie Porte, Robert Kiserlovski and his team-mate Bauke Mollema).
In his neo-pro year, he completed his first Grand Tour in eighteenth position, giving the world a strong indication that Rabobank has more Dutch GC riders to come up after Robert Gesink.
"After my first experience at the Giro, I wanted to come back", Kruijswijk said, "especially because Rabobank gave me the freedom to ride my own race. It’s a bit too early in my career to go for the Tour de France. Now I’ll try to stay as long as possible in this position and not lose twenty minutes during the first week like I did last year."
Kruijswijk is currently eighth in the general classification, just ahead of Alberto Contador.