Gesink grabs lead in Tour of California

May 20, 2012, Sunday/ 15:05:00

Robert Gesink of the Netherlands won the penultimate stage of the Tour of California on Saturday, all but ensuring he would claim the overall victory when the eight-day race ended on later Sunday.

The 25-year-old Gesink snatched the leader's yellow jersey after winning the grueling 126-kilometer (78-mile) mountain climb from Ontario to Mt. Baldy in three hours 37 minutes and eight seconds. He started the day in third place, 38 seconds behind the overall leader, American David Zabriskie, but ended up leading by a commanding 46 seconds with only the short final stage in Los Angeles to come. “I'm back,” said Gesink, who broke his leg in a crash last year. I've been working really, really hard the last months. It didn't always work out in the beginning and that's difficult on an athlete, always wanting to win. Now to be back at the highest level and to be the best uphill like this is unbelievable.” Zabriskie remained second overall while Tom Danielson of the US moved into third place after finishing seventh in the stage. John Atapuma of Colombia was second in Saturday's stage, in the same time as Gesink, after leading most of the day. His Countryman Fabio Duarte crossed the line, 14 seconds later.   

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