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Robert Gesink fires back at his critics

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Robert Gesink (Rabobank) going as hard as he can.

Robert Gesink (Rabobank) going as hard as he can. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich)
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Robert Gesink (Rabobank) has had a poor Tour de France

Robert Gesink (Rabobank) has had a poor Tour de France (Image credit: Sirotti)

Robert Gesink of Rabobank is sick and tired of hearing that he cannot deal with adversity and that he crashes too often and has responded to his sports director Adri van Houwelingen, who recently criticised him publicly.

“As if I have not been proven in recent years that I can fight.,” he told De Volkskrant.  “I crashed in the Vuelta in 2009, but was still sixth overall.  What happened in the Tour has nothing to do with my mental toughness. Because there is nothing wrong with that. "

Gesink was one of many who crashed during the fifth stage of the Tour de France from Carhaix to Cap Fehel.  He finished the race 33rd, over an hour down on winner Cadel Evans (BMC).

Van Houwelingen touched a raw nerve with when he publicly said that Gesink often saw the glass as half empty rather than half full and that he had to work on his mental toughness.

"Something like that is the biggest bullshit comment you can give," said Gesink. "He may give his opinion in public. But if someone has a vision that just is not right, I notice that. For my teammates this has not been a subject. "

"It is not true that I crash more than others," Gesink insisted. “But that is what is reported.  Luis Leon Sanchez crashed six or seven times.  You hear nothing about that. Nobody knows how often someone like Bram Tankink hits the ground.  But I'm the one who gets the coverage.”

Gesink didn't help his case with a crash while training two weeks ago, when he fractured his femur.  Although he is now recovering, he probably won't be racing again until next April.

It won't keep the 25-year-old out of next year's Tour de France, though. He is determined to ride. “If only because I have to put things right.”