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Demoralised Gesink wants to hold Vuelta's sixth place

Robert Gesink (Rabobank) prepares for Vuelta a España's Toledo time trial.

Robert Gesink (Rabobank) prepares for Vuelta a España's Toledo time trial. (Image credit: Shane Stokes)

Dutchman Robert Gesink has decided to start today's Vuelta a España time trial, demoralised after losing time yesterday. His Rabobank team indicated yesterday evening that the Dutchman was undecided about continuing to Madrid, but he is currently warming up for the stage and defence of his sixth place overall.

"He feels a bit better," said directeur sportif Eric Breukink. "The worst day was just after the crash. He was a bit better yesterday but for that [tough] stage it was not enough. Now his morale is down and it is difficult, but he wants to continue and try to save his place in the general [classification].

"He is not super, but he accepts the situation. It was bad luck. He was on the level to reach the podium, so it's hard for him."

Gesink, 23, had been second overall, but yesterday evening finished four minutes 44 back and dropped to sixth. He starts today's time trial 3:19 behind Ezequiel Mosquera (Xacobeo Galicia) in fifth and 1:29 ahead of Paolo Tiralongo (Lampre-NGC).

Gesink crashed Wednesday on the stage to Talavera de la Reina and he suffered various injuries, including a deep wound to his knee.

Due to the tough nature of the Worlds course next Sunday, Gesink would have started as one of the favourites. Breukink feels he's still likely to go, but that Gesink will make a final decision next week.

"He wants to do the Worlds as planned. But maybe three days after the Vuelta you have to see how he is. If he feels very bad, maybe he is better not to start the Worlds."