With their eye on the Tour de France, starting in a little over two weeks, Rabobank's riders at the Tour de Suisse were ordered to take it easy on Stage 4's final climb. Thomas Dekker and Michael Boogerd both held themselves to the agreement, coming in with the 'bus' according to the Dutch team's official website.
Theo Eltink on the other hand, decided he would go a bit harder on the climb, where he finished 40th around six minutes down as the best placed Rabobank rider. Eltink, who was forced to pull out of the Dauphiné last week due to illness, wants to show the team that he deserves his place on the Tour squad.
Eltink's ride on the tough mountain impressed his director. "When you know that just a week ago Theo was extremely sick, his result today is really not bad at all," said Ardri van Houwelingen. "Fortieth today is not a bad result, but most of all the improvement from Monday is impressive."
The climb to Triesenberg- Malbun is 13 kilometers long with an average gradient of 9.7 percent, which makes it a tougher climb than many in the up coming Tour. "[It's] even harder than the Alpe d'Huez," was Van Houwelingen impression.
It seems that Eltink's ride today has left a positive impression on Van Houwelingen, after the director commented yesterday that he thought the Tour may be to difficult for the young rider from Brabant in Holland's South. "We hope Theo can continue to build his form," he said. "It is looking good."