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“I felt strong and really wanted to fight for the stage win today. There was a big fight to get in the [16-man] break and unfortunately, the peloton didn’t allow us to build up a big gap," Mollema says

Photo: Belkin Pro Cycling Team










11.04.2014 @ 20:29 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

After a bad opening day, Bauke Mollema has really found his best legs for the final days of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco. Today he was the strongest rider in a great 16-rider breakaway while his teammate Robert Gesink didn't feel good and decided to abandon to recover for the Ardennes.


Bauke Mollema said he would attack and he did. After a fifth place in the queen stage of the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco yesterday, he escaped in stage five today and survived until the the final climb at 10 kilometres to race. 

“I felt strong and really wanted to fight for the stage win today,” said the Dutchman before he got back on his saddle to ride fifty additional kilometres. “There was a big fight to get in the [16-man] break and unfortunately, the peloton didn’t allow us to build up a big gap.” 


Jonathan Hivert gave the Belkin Pro Cycling TEAM its best placing in the 160-kilometre stage from Eibar to Markina-Xemein. In the sprint for the stage victory – which was won by Sky’s Ben Swift - the Frenchman placed seventh. 

“But I could have finished higher up,” he said. “My position in the sprint could have been better. Nevertheless, I’m glad with this result as I was suffering quite a lot during the first few days.” 


Sports Director Merijn Zeeman said the team’s performance pleased him.


“Bauke rode a good stage,” he said. “Like every day, it was tough, although the peloton suffered just a bit more today, but still he was able to hang on until very late. I’m glad to see that Jonathan is doing better.” 

Robert Gesink abandoned the race today. Just like yesterday, the Dutchman, wasn’t feeling fit and with the upcoming races in mind, he didn’t want to take any risks. 


A 25-kilometre time trial will conclude the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco tomorrow. Stef Clement has set his sights on a good result.


“The course seems well suited for Stef,” said Zeeman. “With two third category climbs and a very technical descent, it’s a tough time trial.” 



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