Team Rabobank climbed its way into the top ten Thursday in the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon. Thomas Dekker finished third on the queen stage, Denis Menchov fifth and Bauke Mollema sixth, with all three riders also claiming these positions in the overall rankings. In addition, the Dutch ProTour team took over the lead in the team classification.
With three kilometres to go, race leader Alberto Contador broke out of an escape group which included, among others, the three Rabo riders. Menchov stayed behind to help Dekker, who is the team captain in the race. "Denis could have stayed with Contador; that is how well he was riding," Dekker told team leader Adri van Houwelingen, according to the team's website.
According to Van Houwelingen, "Denis was the best rider of our team today, and perhaps even the best rider of the stage. Thomas has had to say 'stop' multiple times during the final kilometre. But, Thomas is also making a good impression. The tests of both men have been more than satisfactory."
Van Houwelingen was also happy with the 21 year-old Mollema, who previously finished third in the race's second stage. "I am convinced that Bauke will again make a good impression on Friday. His ability to recover is perfectly in order and he is riding an excellent race. I have also told him that he should take into account and consider from whom he rode away today. That is a long list of world-class riders. Surely, this is not a vital tour, but there are a couple of cannons riding around here. The first three of the last Vuelta, the number one and three of the Tour, the mountain king of the Tour and a couple of other top-class cyclists."