Gesink slips under the radar

Gesink after his '08 stage win.

Gesink after his '08 stage win. (Image credit: Jon Devich)

With most eyes on Lance Armstrong and the Astana team at this year's Tour of California, one rider with a fighting chance of making the podium is Rabobank's Robert Gesink. The talented climber was only 1:14 off the overall leader's time after yesterday's stage to Santa Rosa.

The Dutchman showed what he's capable of at last year's edition of the Tour of California, with a win on stage three in San José and a top-ten overall. He's again showing good form and keeping himself in contention for a significant placing on overall classification by staying safe on a tough day. Of yesterday's stage he said, "Today... it was cold, it rained, but luckily the wind played no significant role.

"We rode all day through a difficult undulating course behind a group of escapees, not least, [Francisco] Mancebo of Rock Racing. On the second climb of the day Astana began to ride and we arrived with a group of 20. Bauke [Mollema] was also in the group. Just before the finish, the time would be taken at the first passing, but that was good because the circuit was extremely dangerous due to the bad weather."

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