Vuelta: Kruijswijk struggles with Olympic health problems
Aug 23 2016 04:14 am CET

Vuelta: Kruijswijk struggles with Olympic health problems
Vuelta: Kruijswijk struggles with Olympic health problems

After an outstanding Giro d'Italia, Steven Kruijswijk of Lotto NL-Jumbo was one of the riders to look for in the Vuelta a España. But the climbs of the third stage, in which he finished in position 53rd, unveiled some health problems.

"We didn't start this Vuelta perfectly because Steven Kruijswijk got sick after the Olympic Games. The team time trial went surprisingly well when you're looking at it from that point of view, but the heavy stages like today and tomorrow come a little bit too early for him," said Sports Director Jan Boven.

"It didn't turn out the way we wanted, today. He shouldn't have lost much fitness, anyway, because he has been able to complete preparation up through the Olympic Games. He just lost his top form after being sick. From now on, he has to make sure that he improves during this race."

At the end of the stage, the rider couldn't hide his disappointment. "I started this Vuelta with ambitions, so you want to finish among the best riders on the first summit finish. I wasn't able to do that, today, clearly. I didn't feel strong. The only reason I can give is my illness in the past weeks, which was the reason that I haven't been able to train a lot," he stated.

"I slipped back a little bit and I have to make sure that I'm able to improve in this race to make the most of it. I'm confident about tomorrow in some way because I feel fit and healthy again. I'm not in my best shape, but I'm expecting to improve in the upcoming days."

During the 2016 Giro d'Italia, the Dutchman wore the Maglia Rosa between stages 14 and 18. A crash in Stage 19 stopped him from taking the overall victory, but his performance was considered one of the biggest cycling surprises of the season.
Photo of Steven Kruijswijk (cropped) by Lotto NL-Jumbo.





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