Robert Gesink

Robert Gesink

Gesink in 2015
Personal information
Full name Robert Gesink
Nickname The Condor of Varsseveld[1]
Born (1986-05-31) 31 May 1986
Varsseveld, the Netherlands
Height 1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)
Weight 68 kg (150 lb)
Team information
Current team LottoNL–Jumbo
Discipline Road
Role Rider
Rider type All-rounder
Amateur team(s)
until 2005 De Peddelaars
2005 Löwik Meubelen
2006 Rabobank Continental Team
Professional team(s)
2007– Rabobank
Major wins

Grand Tours

Vuelta a España
1 individual stage (2016)

Stage races

Tour of California (2012)
Tour of Oman (2011)

Single-day races and Classics

Giro dell'Emilia (2009, 2010)
GP Montréal (2010)
GP Québec (2013)
Infobox last updated on
3 September 2016

Robert Gesink (born 31 May 1986 in Varsseveld) is a Dutch professional cyclist for UCI ProTeam LottoNL–Jumbo.[2] His major victories include the 2012 Tour of California, the 2011 Tour of Oman and the 2010 Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal. Gesink also won the Giro dell'Emilia twice and offered some good performances on Grand Tours and one-week stage races, thanks in part to his climbing and time trialing abilities.[3]


Early years

At the Junior World Championships of 2004 UCI Road World Championships in Verona, Gesink finished eighth in the individual time trial and sixth in the road race, while riding for team De Peddelaars in Aalten. After this rather successful WC he went to team Lowik-Van Losser for one year. He joined the Rabobank Continental team in 2006. He finished third overall in Volta ao Algarve and won the overall classification and the third stage of Settimana Ciclista Lombarda. He later won a stage and the overall classification of the Circuito Montañés and finished second in the prestigious Tour de l'Avenir. Gesink initially signed a two-year deal with Rabobank Continental but team manager Theo de Rooij decided to move him to the Rabobank UCI ProTeam for the 2007 season.[4]


In his first year as professional cyclist, Gesink won the young riders jersey in the Tour of California. He finished 9th in his first UCI Pro Tour race ever, in La Flèche Wallonne. After riding another top 15 in the Tour de Romandie won by his teammate Thomas Dekker, he won his first race as professional at the queen stage in the Tour of Belgium riding away from everyone on Côte de La Redoute. The next year, he finished just outside the top ten in the Clásica de San Sebastián, fifth in the Deutschland Tour, and second in the Tour de Pologne. He subsequently got selected for the UCI Road World Championships in Stuttgart. In the Giro di Lombardia he finished fifteenth.


In his 2nd year as professional, in 2008, he showed progression by winning the hardest stage in the Tour of California, where Gesink rode away on the final climb, with only Levi Leipheimer holding his wheel. They stayed ahead on the final 35 kilometers of downhill and flat and Leipheimer didn't contest Gesink in the sprint. Gesink won the young riders jersey again and finished 9th in the general classification. In the Paris–Nice he finished second in the stage up to Mont Serein, five kilometers before the top of Mont Ventoux, where he was outsprinted by Cadel Evans. He then lost the jersey in the penultimate stage to Cannes, when he got isolated on the Col du Tanneron which, together with Gesink's overly careful descent, allowed Davide Rebellin to take the leader's jersey. He finished fourth in the overall classification, 51 seconds behind Rebellin, which won Gesink the youth classification.[5] He also finished twelfth in Vuelta al País Vasco and completed a successful Ardennes classics by finishing fourth in La Flèche Wallonne. In September, he then finished seventh in his first Grand Tour, the Vuelta a España.


Gesink at the 2009 Vuelta a Espana

In 2009, Gesink finished fourth overall in the Dauphiné. He started his first Tour de France but broke his wrist during a crash on stage 5. He completed the stage, but had to withdraw from the Tour due to his injuries.[6] He recovered in time to enter into the Vuelta a España. He finished the Vuelta a España in 6th place, he was in 2nd place, but due to a fall where he sustained deep cuts in his knee, he was too injured to keep up in the final mountain stage. Afterwards Gesink focused on regaining his form for the World Championships in Mendrisio, but he had not recovered fast enough and finished off the pace. However, a week later he was back to his old self and took the victory in the Giro dell'Emilia, beating Jakob Fuglsang and Thomas Lövkvist to the line in a sprint uphill. He also took 6th place in the Giro di Lombardia and finished the season as 10th on the UCI World Ranking.


Gesink wearing the White Jersey at the 2010 Tour de France

Gesink’s schedule for 2010 was about the same as that of 2009, only this time he did manage to get a good result in the Tirreno–Adriatico (fifth). Because of the absence of, among others, Alberto Contador and Cadel Evans, he started as one of the favorites for the Tour of the Basque Country. He impressed during the most important stage, was in the top 3 and even had a chance at winning the tour, when in stage 5 he fell once again. Eventually he finished 9th and seemed to have the form he needed for the “klassiekers” (classic events).

In the Amstel Gold Race, the La Flèche Wallonne and Liège–Bastogne–Liège he had a disappointing race and couldn’t compete for the victory. After that he went on altitude training in the Sierra Nevada. He didn’t compete in any events for a while, while focusing on the Tour de France. His form showed during the Tour de Suisse, where he was victorious in the most difficult stage. With this win he took over the leader’s jersey from Tony Martin. In the closing time trial he had a bad day and lost his leading position to Fränk Schleck. He finally finished fifth.

He participated in the 2010 Tour de France for the second time, and completed it for the first time. Gesink ended 6th in the general classification, the first Dutchman to end so high in the general classifications in over a decade, and 2nd in the young rider classification. After Contador and Menchov were disqualified because of doping issues, Gesink formally ended 4th. He also wore the White Jersey from stage 10 to 15. After the Tour, Gesink won the Giro dell'Emilia for the second straight year. In October, Gesink had to mourn his father, who died as the result of a cycling accident.[7]


The start of Gesink's 2011 season was productive, with two stage wins in the Tour of Oman (one uphill finish and one individual time trial in which he beat World Champion Fabian Cancellara), and winning the overall classification and the youth classification. He took the race lead after the 4th stage of the Tirreno–Adriatico, but lost it a day later to Cadel Evans. In the closing time trial, Gesink climbed in the general classification from five to second overall. He continued to show his good form in the Vuelta al País Vasco where he finished third overall.

He did not continue this good form in the Hills Classics and a ninth place at the Amstel Gold Race was his best performance in the three races dominated by Philippe Gilbert. In September he suffered a crash in training where he broke his leg in four places, and had a surgical operation which left screws and pins in his body.[8]


After an unproductive start to the season, Gesink found his form in the Tour of California. He finished third in the time trial and enjoyed a prestigious victory on the slopes of Mount Baldy in stage 7 of the race, where he attacked 4.5 kilometres (2.8 mi) from the finish to take the leader's jersey and the mountaintop stage win.[9] His leading position was never seriously tested in the short final stage, and he won his first tour since the 2011 Tour of Oman.

For the 2012 Tour de France, he was considered one of the Dutch hopefuls who might finish in the top ten, but he fell in the massive crash that occurred on the sixth stage, damaging his ribs. After battling through the pain, he abandoned the ordeal on stage 11.[10] He then went on to participate in the Vuelta a España, and he made an impact by finishing in sixth position overall behind the winner Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank–Tinkoff Bank). Gesink was always competitive in the mountains, which allowed him to retain such a high placing.[11]


Gesink had an uneventful 2013 season. He aimed to win the Giro d'Italia though he abandoned in the second week. His only victory was the Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec which was in September.

Gesink at the 2015 Tour de France


Gesink had a promising start to his 2014 season finishing 6th in the Tour Down Under and 5th in the Tour of Oman. His season however was disrupted by heart problems for which he received surgery, preventing him from riding the Tour de France, switching his hopes to the Vuelta a España. However, while he was in seventh position Overall at the Vuelta, he withdrew before Stage 18 to be with his pregnant wife who was hospitalized.[12]


After racing the Volta ao Algarve, Gesink suffered a knee injury. He came back to the La Fleche Wallonne to sign a 25th placing. He then raced the Tour de Romandie and finished 15th overall.[13] Then he focused on the Tour de France. Gesink rode in the Tour of Suisse in preparation for the Grand Tour and finished in a solid 9th place. But he did even better in France, where he finished 6th, right behind big names like Contador and Nibali.[14]

Career achievements

Major results

1st National Junior Time Trial Championships
1st Overall Circuito Montañés
1st Stage 6
1st Overall Settimana Ciclistica Lombarda
1st Stage 3
2nd Overall Tour de l'Avenir
3rd Overall Volta ao Algarve
4th Rund um Köln
6th World Under-23 Road Race Championships
7th Ronde van Vlaanderen Beloften
1st Young rider classification Tour of California
1st Stage 4 Tour of Belgium
2nd Overall Tour de Pologne
5th Overall Deutschland Tour
1st Young rider classification
5th Profronde van Fryslan
9th La Flèche Wallonne
9th Clasica de Almeria
10th Giro dell'Emilia
10th Hel van het Mergelland
4th Overall Paris–Nice
1st Young rider classification
4th La Flèche Wallonne
4th Overall Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré
7th Overall Vuelta a España
9th Overall Tour of California
1st Young rider classification
1st Stage 3
9th Giro dell'Emilia
10th UCI World Road Race Championships
10th Olympic Games Road Race
10th Olympic Games Time Trial
1st Giro dell'Emilia
3rd Amstel Gold Race
4th Overall Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré
6th Overall Vuelta a España
6th Giro di Lombardia
7th Overall Tour of the Basque Country
8th Overall Tour of California
1st Young rider classification
1st Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal
1st Giro dell'Emilia
3rd Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec
5th Overall Tirreno–Adriatico
1st Young rider classification
5th Overall Tour de Suisse
1st Stage 6
4th Overall Tour de France
7th Clásica de San Sebastián
8th Overall Tour of the Basque Country
8th Overall Tour Méditerranéen
1st Overall Tour of Oman
1st Young rider classification
1st Stages 4 & 5 (ITT)
2nd Overall Tirreno–Adriatico
1st Young rider classification
1st Stage 1 (TTT)
2nd Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec
3rd Overall Tour of the Basque Country
9th Amstel Gold Race
1st Overall Tour of California
1st Stage 7
4th Overall Tour de Suisse
6th National Road Race Championships
6th Overall Vuelta a España
6th Overall Vuelta a Burgos
8th Overall Vuelta a Murcia
1st Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec
3rd Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana
4th Vuelta a Murcia
5th Overall Tour of Alberta
6th Overall Volta a Catalunya
8th Overall Tour of Beijing
9th Overall Tour de Luxembourg
10th Giro di Lombardia
5th Overall Tour of Oman
6th Overall Tour Down Under
8th Overall Tour de Pologne
5th Overall Tour of California
6th Overall Tour de France
8th Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal
9th Overall Tour de Suisse
1st Stage 14 Vuelta a España
7th Giro di Lombardia

Grand Tours overall classification results timeline

Grand Tour 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Pink jersey Giro WD
Yellow jersey Tour WD 4 33 WD 26 6
golden jersey Vuelta 7 6 6 WD 34

Other major stage races

Race 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Paris–Nice 4 WD
Tirreno–Adriatico 11 5 2
Volta a Catalunya 19 6 26
Tour of the Basque Country 12 6 8 3 WD 28
Tour de Romandie 13 54 15
Critérium du Dauphiné WD 4 4 20
Tour de Suisse 5 4 9 WD

See also


  1. Graaff, K. de (26 June 2012). "Robert Gesink misschien toch naar Londen". Spits (in Dutch). Retrieved 30 June 2012.
  2. "Former Rabobank (RAB) – NED". UCI World Tour. Union Cycliste Internationale. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  3. "The Top 10 Riders to Watch at the 2012 Tour of Spain". Bicycling. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
  4. "Rabobank adds Moerenhout and Gesink". 6 October 2006. Retrieved 2008-06-05.
  5. Edward Pickering (15 March 2008). "Paris-nice stage 6: gesink sinks". Retrieved 2008-06-05.
  6. "La Vuelta 2016". Retrieved 2016-09-11.
  7. "Robert Gesink: From broken leg to Tour of California win". MSNBC. Associated Press. 21 May 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2012.
  8. Pucin, Diane (19 May 2012). "Robert Gesink wins stage, takes lead in Amgen Tour of California". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
  9. "Gesink takes command of Amgen Tour with powerful attack for stage win, overall lead on stage 7". Velo News. Competitor Group, Inc. 19 May 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
  10. Randwijk, Marije (30 June 2012). "Tourvoorspelling – de proloog: wat kan er misgaan in 6 kilometer?". de Volkskrant (in Dutch). Retrieved 30 June 2012.
  11. Daniel Benson (9 September 2012). "Degenkolb takes fifth Vuelta stage win in Madrid". Cycling News. Future Publishing Limited. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  12. "Gesink abandons Vuelta a España". Future plc. 11 September 2014. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  13. Pat Malach (9 May 2015). "California GC Contenders aiming for Big Bear, Mt. Baldy". Future plc. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
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