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by Matt de Neef
September 17, 2020
Steven Kruijswijk will lead Jumbo-Visma at the rescheduled Giro d’Italia after missing the Tour de France due to a shoulder injury sustained at the Criterium du Dauphine.
The 33-year-old is still recovering from the dislocated shoulder he sustained in a crash on stage 4 of the Tour de France warm-up race. Still, he’s optimistic about being ready for a good GC result at the Giro, which starts on October 3.
“I notice that I feel better and better,” Kruijswijk said in a Jumbo-Visma press release. “My injured shoulder has not completely healed yet, but I can do my training properly. Things are going in the right direction and I am looking forward to the Giro.”
Once the race begins, Kruijswijk will learn pretty quickly whether he can be competitive in the GC battle.
“In the first week we can immediately brace ourselves,” he said. “The third stage already has an uphill finish. That will be a measure for me to see where I stand. I just hope that I am completely fit when the Giro starts, so that we can go for a good result in the general classification.”
Kruijswijk’s best result at the Giro d’Italia was fourth in the 2016 edition. The Dutchman led that year’s race for five stages and was three minutes clear atop the GC after stage 18 — seemingly headed for a comfortable victory. But a crash on stage 19 left Kruijswijk with two broken ribs and saw him finish nearly five minutes down on the stage, dropping out of pink.
Kruijswijk has only raced the Giro once since then — in 2017. He abandoned that race due to illness with two days remaining. He was 10th overall at the time.
Supporting Kruijswijk at the Giro will be Koen Bouwman, Tony Martin, Christoph Pfingsten, Tobias Foss, Chris Harper, Antwan Tolhoek and Jos van Emden. Foss and Harper will both be making their Grand Tour debut. Martin is the only rider on the Giro squad who is currently racing the Tour de France.