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"In the end, maybe it was a little bit too early because in the last 25-50 meters a few guys passed me. But I think it was a good try, I looked at my SRM file and it was a 28-second sprint so that was quite long.”

Photo: Sirotti






12.09.2015 @ 13:59 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

With a little more than 800 meters remaining in the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec, Bauke Mollema patiently waited in the top wheels as BMC Racing led the chase to an attacking Rigoberto Uran (Etixx-Quick Step).


With the distance not closing fast enough to the Colombian, Mollema jumped with 300 meters to go in an attempt to make a late catch and still win the race. 


He was closing the gap but losing real estate faster; Uran held off the peloton sprinting on his heels and crossed the line to take the victory, while Mollema was overtaken by four riders a few meters before the line to finish in 6th place.


“I knew from last year that I had to go early, “explained Mollema. “I felt good actually all day, so I just went for it. In the end, maybe it was a little bit too early because in the last 25-50 meters a few guys passed me. But I think it was a good try, I looked at my SRM file and it was a 28-second sprint so that was quite long.”


The traditional format returned to the GP of Quebec with a 12.6-kilometer circuit navigated 16 times replacing the longer 18-kilometer loop of 2014 adding more climbing and less flat roads in the 201.6-kilometer race.


Trek Factory Racing led the chase to a five-man breakaway for most of the day until other teams took over in the closing part of the race, putting in their time and effort early as they held two trump cards in Fabio Felline and Bauke Mollema, both ready to be played when the action heated in the last laps.


The Felline card was laid with two laps to go when he attentively joined a dangerous 12-man move that surged clear up and over the climb. They held a small advantage for one lap, but too many key teams had missed the move and brought the 12 back on the long uphill rise to the finish with one lap and just over 12 kilometers to go.


“It was a good move by Felline,” Mollema continued. “I think we were pulling the first 125 kilometers more or less. After the break was gone Marco Coledan was pulling a lot, he was really strong today. This made it easy for us to stay at the front because on a course like this there’s a lot of up and down, a lot of corners, so it makes it easier and you can save a lot of energy by being in the front. I think that was a good tactic today.”


Despite two dangerous men escaping over the finish line the penultimate time and gaining a 20-second lead, and a small chase group again with Felline in pursuit, when the race entered its final five kilometers all was back together and it was headed for a reduced, but still fairly large, bunch sprint once again.


The punchers began punching in the first steep pitch four kilometers from the end, but no one could hold a gap for long.  It was a finish tailored to punchy power but also tactical savvy.


The slight moment’s hesitation behind was all Uran needed and he held a small advantage all the way to the line; when Mollema jumped to try and close the gap it was all but too late.


“I wanted to wait for the sprint," said Mollema, explaining his tactics. "I was looking for bigger groups, too, and with three kilometers to go I was in a group with maybe 10-15 guys,  and then you have to be there. But there are a lot of fast guys here and the peloton is really strong so if its only 2 or 3 guys there’s not much chance as certain teams will close the gap. So really I was waiting for the sprint and wanted to do a good sprint. Okay 6th, well, I think it was okay. The legs were good and I am satisfied with that. You always want more, and I was aiming for more today, but okay, I just had to start the sprint at that moment and I that’s all I could do.”


Michael Matthews (Orica GreenEdge) and Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) jumped past a fading Mollema in the final meters to grab the final two podium spots, in second and third places respectively.


“We raced with confidence, we were present all race, and we tried,” said director Adriano Baffi, summing up the race. “Bauke tried and he was passed in the end by the real sprinters. We have to be satisfied with that.”



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