Kruijswijk shows fighting spirit in final stage of Vuelta a Catalunya

Team Jumbo-Visma has ended the Vuelta a Catalunya with a good feeling. In the final stage, Steven Kruijswijk was part of the leading group, while Sam Oomen moved up to tenth place in the general classification.

The 138-kilometre last stage of the Catalan race took place in and around Barcelona. Kruijswijk tried to get in the breakaway just as he had done the day before. After his failed mission on Saturday, he succeeded today. Together with ten other riders they formed the day’s leading group, but the difference with the peloton remained limited.

After the first pass on Montjuïc – the hill that had to be climbed six times – Kruijswijk and Quintin Pacher broke away. The two steadily increased their lead and had a serious chance of winning the stage. However, on the penultimate passage of Montjuïc, the GC riders increased the pace and as a result, Kruijswijk and Pacher were caught at thirteen kilometres from the finish line.

After the last climb, an elite group battled for the stage win, of which also Oomen and Robert Gesink were part. They finished twelfth and thirteenth. Kruijswijk was rewarded with the fighting spirit prize due to his attractive racing style.

“I had good legs today”, Kruijswijk said. “After my lesser stage on Thursday, I had my sights set on a stage win and particularly on today’s stage. It was a shame that we started the local laps with a small lead, but I’m happy that I could go for it. I have to take that feeling with me to the coming weeks.”

Sports director Marc Reef was also satisfied with the way Kruijswijk had shown himself. “Steven did very well today. In the front group he was one of the best, if not the best, but unfortunately, the time difference was not big enough. At the beginning of the week, his goal was the general classification, but at a certain point he fell short of that goal. The fact that he gave all today shows his personality and character.”

Reef was also pleased with Oomen’s tenth place. “After a period in which he has worked very hard, this is a super result that he can build on.”