Wilco Kelderman secured a solid result on the queen stage of Tirreno Adriatico today, remaining in contention as the gradients increased to take 8th place on the stage. His efforts on the stage see him move to 3rd overall, with 11 seconds separating him from the the race lead.
Team Sunweb lined up for another long day in the saddle at Tirreno-Adriatico for the races queen stage, which took riders on a 219 kilometre route between Foligno and Sarnano–Sassotetto.
The stage saw a lot of interest to get into the breakaway as soon as the flag dropped, with an eventual group of six riders establishing a solid six minute lead on the pack. Team Sunweb were once again faced with bad luck during the stage as Tom Dumoulin suffered a race-ending crash on a descent mid-race. With the team leader’s race brought to an end, focus shifted to Wilco Kelderman’s chances.
On the final climb the breakaway were eventually swept up and almost immediately attacks flew off what remained of the bunch. Wilco remained tucked into the main field, whilst four riders edged clear of the bunch to contest the stage victory. Wilco held position inside the chase group, following attacks as they came. He continued to the line to take a solid 8th place, and now sits 3rd in the overall standings.
“The day didn’t start so well with losing Tom to the crash,” explained Wilco. “We tried to keep focused and the boys did a good job during the day to put me in a great position going into the final climb. I gave everything to finish and I’m happy with where I am now.”
Team Sunweb coach Marc Reef added: “As we only had five riders at the start of the day, our goal was to protect Tom and Wilco and to go full on the final climb. Tom was really unlucky to crash in a descent and soon afterwards had to call it a day. We tried to switch focus to Wilco and succeeded quite well in it. The boys did an amazing job keeping him through the whole day at the front and out of problems so that he could be with the first guys going into the final climb. He was able to follow the strongest and went all out to the line to finish 8th and now 3rd on the GC.”