Vuelta a España: 'Jumbo-Visma comes from another planet', says Patrick Lefevere

Vuelta a España: 'Jumbo-Visma comes from another planet', says Patrick Lefevere
Dutch Robert Gesink of Jumbo-Visma crosses the finish line of the first stage of the 2022 edition of the 'Vuelta a Espana', Tour of Spain cycling race, a 23,2km team time trial in Utrecht, The Netherlands, Friday 19 August 2022. BELGA PHOTO LUC CLAESSEN

Patrick Lefevere, manager of the Belgian road cycling Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl team, was present during the first stage of the Vuelta a España which took place in Utrecht on Friday in the form of a team time trial.

Though his team didn't win the stage, Lefevere was pleased with the performance: “I don’t think our riders made any mistakes along the way, but we still finished third. Jumbo-Visma were just stronger; they come from another planet.”

"We fell within a second of second place INEOS Grenadiers so I can only be pleased,” he added. “It would have ‘stung’ if we had lost with such a small difference, I’ve experienced that before, but it’s second place and so doesn’t hurt as much.”

“It was a twisty and technical course and I thought that we had eked every last second out of the bends but when you see that we ended up 14 seconds down, I don’t know how Jumbo took those corners. Of course, they have a lot of big riders and experience, that makes a difference.”

“I don’t think we could have done much better. Everyone in the team gave their best. Previously I knew that Dries (Devenyns) and Louis (Vervaeke) would struggle to keep up, but they have been further than expected. So that’s good too. Now two dangerous stages will follow. I just hope we can leave the Netherlands in one piece.”

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