Oscar Riesebeek had two excellent days in the Ruta del Sol: both in the short but difficult time trial on day three and in the tough queen stage on day four he performed well with a 29th and 23rd place.
The time trial scheduled for day three was a relatively short one – 16.2 km – but also a tough one. “An individual time trial for all-rounders”, sports director Erik Breukink called it. “Because some issue with a delivery of equipment we rode on our road bikes. But it’s okay, since we don’t really have anyone in the general classification and focus on the coming days anyway”, he said.
Still, some of our riders managed to get some great results: Oscar Riesebeek (29th at 1’37) and Lars Boom (35th at 1’41) for example. Riesebeek was quite satisfied with his performance afterwards. “It was a tough but very nice day”, he said. “We had to ride on our regular road bikes because of circumstances, but I decided to give it my all anyway. That’s what I did. Time trials are always tough.”
Queen stage: Nick van der Lijke expected “war” and was right
On Saturday it was time for the queen stage in Andalusia. The stage wasn’t too long, only 119 km, but the profile was challenging. The riders faced four categorized climbs, including two of first category.
“The toughest stage of the Ruta del Sol”, said Nick van der Lijke before the start. “It will immediately be full gas on the first climb of the Sierra Nevada. It predict war.” Prophetic words, because on the first col of first category, the pace was kept high and the bunch was reduced in numbers considerably. Van der Lijke and Riesebeek were still up there, but on the long final climb they lost contact with a small group of favourites.
Riesebeek eventually finished in 23rd place in Granada, at 5’54 of stage winner Simon Yates. Van der Lijke was the second rider of Roompot – Charles at the finish line, in 36th position. Michael Van Staeyen retains his leader’s jersey in the classification of the meta volantes also after today. The fifth and final stage, tomorrow, has got an undulating route with a flat finale.