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Kelderman comes up short in Liège-Bastogne-Liège

Wilco Kelderman’s efforts failed to get him a top result in the Liège-Bastogne-Liège today in Belgium, but he still came away from his debut in the last spring classic of the season with a 37th place.

Wilco Kelderman’s efforts failed to get him a top result in the Liège-Bastogne-Liège today in Belgium, but he still came away from his debut in the last spring classic of the season with a 37th place.

The Dutchman finished one minute and 41 seconds behind winner, Spaniard Alejandro Valverde of team Movistar.

Crash at crucial moment

Paul Martens went down hard with 40 kilometres remaining along with a dozen other riders, including his teammates Bert-Jan Lindeman and Bram Tankink. Tankink suffered a minor concussion. Martens finished the race with a broken metacarpal bone in his left hand.

The crash proved to be a crucial moment in the race.

“It went wrong for me after the big crash,” Wilco Kelderman said.

“I was caught up behind the fallen riders together with Laurens ten Dam. On La Redoute I was able to rejoin the first group, but that cost me a lot of energy. I forgot to take a bottle, which triggered cramps in the final. At that point, it was over for me.

“It’s very unfortunate, especially since things went better and better after the Brabantse Pijl. I’m not satisfied. Of course, I’d hoped to be in the front.”

Kelderman placed 10th in La Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday.

Merijn Zeeman

“If you want to challenge the world’s best riders, some of whom were here today, you have to be 200 per cent,” Sports Director, Merijn Zeeman explained.

“It doesn’t help that Wilco had to close a 20-second gap on La Redoute.”

Zeeman had to cross out Paul Martens’ name.

“Paul was strong all week, but after his spill, he was done. Why does this happen to us? Were we poorly positioned or should we change our tactics? Those are things we have to look at now.”

Evaluation

With the spring classics over, Zeeman added that he is not satisfied with how LottoNL-Jumbo went. The team will soon evaluate its performances in the classics.

“In the end, it’s all about results. Excuses don’t matter.

“We must perform and we didn’t do that this spring. We will thoroughly analyse why things didn’t go the way we wanted over the past few months.”

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