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"Laurens never got troubled on the climbs, however, and today confirms he’s in a very good shape. We’re already looking forward to Friday, when the next climbs are listed," Verhoeven says

Photo: Belkin Pro Cycling Team








14.05.2014 @ 12:27 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Laurens Ten Dam has made the Tour of California his first big target this season but after going down in a crash in the time trial, he started yesterday's queen stage a bit anxious. However, he did well to finish 11th and his team are convinced that his great condition will be put on show later in the race.


Laurens ten Dam rose to the occasion Tuesday at the 2014 Amgen Tour of California. The captain of the Belkin Pro Cycling TEAM finished 11th in the 174.5km third stage of the race, the race's queen's stage finishing atop Mount Diablo. He crossed the line 29 seconds after stage-winner Rohan Dennis of Australia. 

The Dutchman, 33, moved up from 36th to ninth in the overall classification just 2 minutes and 29 seconds behind Team Sky’s Sir Bradley Wiggins. 

“During the beginning of the stage, I wasn’t feeling very well, but fortunately I was able get through it, partly because of the easy start,” said Ten Dam just after reaching the Mount Diablo summit with an elite first group. “With 400 meters to go, I accelerated, but I didn’t know that the final metres were so hard. It cost me some places and unfortunately I was the last of the group to finish.” 


Nevertheless, Sports Director Nico Verhoeven was satisfied with the performance of the team’s leader.


“After Laurens’ crash yesterday, we started today's stage a bit anxious. Laurens never got troubled on the climbs, however, and today confirms he’s in a very good shape. We’re already looking forward to Friday, when the next climbs are listed.” 


Belkin's Maarten Wynants, meanwhile, spiced up his 32nd birthday by finding a way into the day's breakaway. The Belgian was leading the race with seven others for quite some time, but on the flanks of Mount Diablo he had to fold.


“But, Maarten has done very well today,” said Verhoeven. “We wanted to be in the break and Maarten pulled it off, so kudos to him.” 

Wynants reflected on a perfectly pleasant way to celebrate.


“Many fans along the way have wished me a happy birthday. We were upfront with eight riders, but unfortunately one rider — the one with the mountain's jersey — stopped cooperating at the end as he was afraid he would lose his jersey if we made it to the finish together. That didn’t really help, but I’m glad I was able to show off my Belkin kit.” 



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