Robert Gesink (Rabobank) looks to have taken an unbreakable lead in the Tour of Oman after his second straight stage victory and first ever professional win in a time trial on Saturday.
The ‘Condor of Varsseveld’, as he is nicknamed, said “it was a very difficult time trial, not a normal one, and using a normal road-bike like we were here you needed to keep a steady pace to make sure you didn’t lose your rhythm.”
“I’m really surprised, this is the first professional time trial victory of my career and about half way I was told I had the fastest time, but I knew I had to do it all over again and go back over the same climbs.”
“I kept up a really good cadence, pulled myself as best I could over the top of the climbs to make sure I was starting the descent as fast as possible.”
“We’ve had an amazing race here so far, four out of five wins” – two with himself, two with sprinter Theo Bos – “and I’ve got a very good chance of the overall victory tomorrow.”
Not known as a time trialler, Gesink said he had worked on his position in wind tunnels over the winter, but that as they were using road bikes it made little difference in the Oman time trial.
“I had to keep concentrating on what I was doing, not worry about how much pain I was in, and needed to keep in the same position throughout. At the same time, I wanted to keep the shortest distance.”
Some riders hit 110 kilometres an hour, but Gesink said he didn’t think he was one of them because “I’m not as heavy as some of the Classics specialists.”
“Basically I’m surprised, I’m not known as one of the top time triallists, so it’s very special to win and a great way to start the season.”