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“I feel well after having yesterday off. Today, my legs felt good, I hope it stays that way. Tomorrow’s final is not as hard as today’s. We face some longer climbs, although they are not very steep. It could go either way....

Photo: Sirotti








16.07.2014 @ 21:35 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

For Belkin, today's stage 11 of the Tour de France was one of survival and the team did well to make a splits and finish with four riders in the front group. Having had good legs and overcome his stomach problems, Bauke Mollema hopes to keep his good conditions until the Alpine stages.


The riders of the Belkin Pro Cycling TEAM handled Monday’s rest day in the Tour de France pretty well. Team leaders Bauke Mollema and Laurens ten Dam finished safely in the pack in stage 11 on Wednesday. They even moved up in the overall, now holding ninth and 18th spot. 

Tony Gallopin won the 187.5-kilometre stage in Oyonnax thanks to a late attack. 


Laurens ten Dam had a good day.


“During the first few kilometres, I didn’t feel very well, but in the final I was able to easily maintain myself. My legs were fine, the good feeling was there again.” 

Due to a narrow descent and bad roads, the final of the stage was pretty nervous. Ten Dam was paying attention and avoided big problems. 

“Our Sports Director Merijn Zeeman had done a recon of the stage and informed us this morning, so we knew that it could get hectic. That’s why we wanted to start the climbs and descents in the front. In the downhill of the penultimate climb, I dodged some grass right after a hairpin. I had to give it everything I could to make it to the front again, but it worked.” 

Sports Director Nico Verhoeven was satisfied with the way the day went for the Belkin Pro Cycling TEAM. Besides Mollema and Ten Dam, Steven Kruijswijk and Bram Tankink also finished in the first group. 

“We had four men in the first group and survived the stage very well. Of course, we would have liked to try something in the final, but we just don’t have a sprinter to win a kick here. Our priorities are elsewhere. 

“We wanted Bauke and Laurens to be at the front, when the final descent began as we knew it was difficult. We didn’t know what could happen there, the peloton could have split. If that happens, you can easily move up in the overall.” 


That's exactly what happened. World Champion Rui Costa lost time, which helped Mollema to move into ninth place overall. 

“You had to be careful in the descents. When it broke, Costa lost connection with the group,” said Mollema. "I moved up because of that, which is a nice bonus. 

“I feel well after having yesterday off. Today, my legs felt good, I hope it stays that way. Tomorrow’s final is not as hard as today’s. We face some longer climbs, although they are not very steep. It could go either way. We’ll be attentive and we’ll save our strength when we can. We have to stay focused.” 



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