Ruijgh at the 2011 Kuurne–Brussels–Kuurne.
|Full name||Rob Ruijgh|
12 November 1986 |
Heerlen, the Netherlands
|Height||1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)|
|Weight||64 kg (141 lb)|
|2006–2007||Rabobank Continental Team|
As a youth Ruijgh liked to watch cycling on television. After visiting the local velodome in Geleen, he started racing at the age of 9. Three years later (1998) he became Dutch Youth Champion for 12-year-olds in Oldenzaal (NL). Because Ruijgh continued to drive good results, he came into the picture at the former Dutch national coach Egon van Kessel. As he became older, as Junior cyclist National coach Egon van Kessel invited Ruijgh to compete against foreign opponents of his age, which are also among the best in their country. Rob did not disappoint, winning the highly regarded World Cup Giro della Lunigiana in 2004. Shortly after that he also rode the Men's Junior World Championships in Verona, Italy. By a fall and a wasp sting Rob can not join the front of the race.
In 2005 (Men's Under 23) Ruijgh ride for Belgium team Amuzza.com.Davo, where former topsprinter Wilfried Nelisse was his team leader. He won one race. In the second year Ruijgh took the chance to joint the training squad of Team Rabobank. Because of a virus in 2007, he could not keep up his good results, which took him out for a few months.
A new start
In 2007 Ruijgh joined the German Team Sparkasse. Ruijgh started to perform well again and in 2008 he came out for the Dutch national team for men under 23. In 2009 he continued his good results at Team BPL-Belisol, where he won Romsée-Stavelot-Romsée and the 1st stage of Tour de Liège. His 11th place in the Tour of Britain showed his talent again. Therefore, team manager Daan Luijkx from team Vacansoleil Pro Cycling offered him an internship in mid-2009.
After the internship in mid-2009, he became a pro with the Vacansoleil-DCM pro cycling team. and signed a contract until 2011 (later extended to 2013). He made his debut in the 2010 Tour of Qatar. After the Dutch championship in Beek, Netherlands, he broke his hand while training behind a scooter. The rest of the year he finished in the top 10 five times with a 3rd place in the Binche–Tournai–Binche (1st edition of the GP Frank Vandenbroucke Memorial).
In 2011, Ruijgh had a great year. At the Dutch national championships he drove his team mate Pim Ligthart to the national title in Ootmarsum, Netherlands, finishing 6th himself. He also had a strong performance in the Critérium du Dauphiné, ending 14th in the general classification.
After these results Ruijgh made his debut in the Tour de France and made it to Paris. He made an excellent impression as the best Dutch cyclist, finishing 21st in the general classification and 5th in the young riders classification, 33 minutes 4 seconds behind winner Cadel Evans.
Three reasons halted Ruijgh's rise to stardom. In 2012 he missed the Tour de France because of a knee injury and also had to quit the Tour of Spain. Tests diagnosed a parasite in his stomach, which was a possible reason for his inferior condition in 2012. 2013 also did not start well for Ruijgh as during his favoured home race, the Amstel Gold Race, he fell and suffered a concussion. Recovery from the crash took longer than expected because of a fever after Liège–Bastogne–Liège. By the end of April his health and condition were back to normal and in May Ruijgh finished as the 5th Dutchman in the Giro d'Italia and 54th in the general classification.
Ruijgh joined Vastgoedservice–Golden Palace for the 2014 season, after his previous team – Vacansoleil–DCM – folded at the end of the 2013 season. Ruijgh's greatest handicap was the unlucky season of 2012, where he did not managed to achieve impressive results.
- 6th Flèche Ardennaise
- 6th Overall Triptyque des Barrages
- 7th Overall Tour des Pyrénées
- 5th Druivenkoers Overijse
- 3rd Binche–Tournai–Binche
- 4th Overall Four Days of Dunkirk
- 7th Grand Prix de Plumelec-Morbihan
- 1st Ridderronde Maastricht
- 1st RaboRonde Heerlen
- 9th Overall Four Days of Dunkirk
- 10th Grand Prix de Plumelec-Morbihan
- 1st Memorial Van Coningsloo
- 9th Overall Three Days of De Panne
- 9th Druivenkoers Overijse
- 1st Overall Tour of Iran (Azerbaijan)
- 10th Volta Limburg Classic
- "Rob Ruijgh tekent bij Vastgoedservice" [Rob Ruijgh signs with Vastgoedservice]. Algemeen Dagblad (in Dutch). AD NieuwsMedia. Algemeen Nederlands Persbureau. 31 October 2013. Retrieved 22 December 2013.
- Atkins, Ben (3 January 2012). "Vacansoleil-DCM presented with twelve new riders for 2012". VeloNation. VeloNation LLC. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
- "Tour of Iran (Azrbaïjan) - Algemeen klassement" [Tour of Iran (Azerbaijan) - General classification]. Het Nieuwsblad (in Flemish). Retrieved 14 October 2017.
Media related to Rob Ruijgh at Wikimedia Commons