Robert Gesink says the road back to the Tour de France will likely go through the Giro d’Italia next season.
The Dutch star is recovering from a broken right femur suffered in late September and said that getting a three-week grand tour into his legs ahead of July will be the best preparation for next year’s Tour.
“Next year I would like to race the Giro as preparation for the Tour,” the 25-year-old Rabobank rider told the Dutch daily De Telegraaf. “I don’t know if I will be able to be ready for the spring classics. If I do manage to race the Giro, it will not be to challenge for the overall, but rather to continue my build my strength going into the Tour. That sounds like a nice new challenge.”
Gesink broke his femur in three places in a crash that left him in a hospital bed for three weeks. Doctors are optimistic about a full recovery and have since removed pins that were inserted into the leg. He’s already returned to light training, clocking 200km on a mountain bike as he begins the long road back to the top.
“I have to start from zero to regain my strength,” he continued. “I’ve been training two and a half hours on the mountain bike and the muscles have responded well. My tendons were not affected. I have a long way to go before I can have optimum power out of this leg, but at least it’s becoming better, so that gives me some tranquility.”
Gesink enjoyed a strong spring campaign early in 2011, winning the Tour of Oman and taking second at Tirreno-Adriatico behind Cadel Evans, but crashed hard on his back at the Tour to finish a distant 33rd.
Gesink looked to be back in top form going into the fall classics, riding to second in the GP Cycliste de Montreal before his training crash in September.