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Dutch star Robert Gesink is a past Tour of California stage winner.
Gesink, Ten Dam and Mollema flying the Dutch colours
Rabobank has taken over the lead in the team ranking at the Vuelta a España, with three riders in the top ten of the GC. Robert Gesink is fifth overall, with Laurens Ten Dam ninth and Bauke Mollema tenth.
Gesink actually fell from fourth place, after dropping of in the final five km of the mountaintop finish stage on Saturday, but he was still satisfied. "I feel good,” he said on the team's website. “I had good legs. And it's nice to know that I can do well in this field.”
His directeur sportif, Adrie van Houwelingen, agreed. “Robert said that his would be comeback year. In other words, it would take some time. But he is at a good level.”
The Dutch rider suffered a broken leg in a training crash last September, and has found the return to top form more difficult than expected.
The team's co-captain, Mollema, did not do so well on Saturday. “Bauke did lose more time than we had hoped, but in the end it was not so dramatic,” Van Houwelingen said. “Knowing Bauke, he will work his way up again. Plus, now might be a chance for him to go for a stage win.”
Ten Dam is the suprise of the team, and he is amongst those amazed at his performance. “Being here in the top ten after four mountaintop finishes surprised me a bit,” he admitted. “I'm in good form. After the Tour I rode ten criteriums in eleven days. That's a lot, but I've taken care of myself.”