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“The favorites were really strong, all the GC guys were here this year, and I just wanted to give everything I had and try to finish as high as possible and I think if I look to the final GC, the six guys in front of me were all stron...

Photo: Sirotti






27.07.2015 @ 00:18 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

It was a viciously fought Tour de France from beginning to end, and with four successive punishing action-filled days in the Alps in the final week it wasn’t until Bauke Mollema’s wheel crossed the finish line on avenue des Champs-Élysées that he could breathe a sigh of relief and officially lay claim to a stellar seventh place in the overall classification.


The mostly ceremonial final stage was given a slight nasty twist this year with rain and officials decided to take the official time the first passage over the finish line on avenue des avenue des Champs-Élysées. This eliminated any chance a flat tire – of which there were numerous – or potential crash would upset the final GC, allowing the sprinters and antagonists to play out the stage win unhindered.


Stijn Devolder was caught in a late crash as the hectic sprint wound up to its crescendo. Devolder went down hard, but thankfully walked away with bumps and bruises, while moments later Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) etched his name to the celebrated list of winners on the famed avenue, coming around Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) and holding off Bryan Coquard (Europcar) to take the prestigious victory.



Bauke Mollema rolled across the line with the rest of the team and officially ended the 2015 Tour de France.


“I am happy that it is over. There was never one single easy day.  It’s was nice to finish strong the last two days in the Alps and I think seventh place was the maximum result for me," he said.


“The favorites were really strong, all the GC guys were here this year, and I just wanted to give everything I had and try to finish as high as possible and I think if I look to the final GC, the six guys in front of me were all stronger than me. I have to be satisfied with the seventh place.


“Every year the Tour is different and for the moment I want to just enjoy this result, and later we can look at the next year’s Tour.”



Trek Factory Racing began the three-week race with grandeur when Fabian Cancellara unexpectedly seized the yellow jersey on stage two. However, disaster struck a day later when Cancellara was caught up in a major crash and forced to abandon with two fractured vertebrae.


There were good days and bad days for the team as expected in a three-week race, but in the final decisive week Mollema finished strong to climb from 10th into 7th overall, while the talented young Bob Jungels, 22, implied his potential in joining numerous breakaways in the final mountain stages to show his future is indeed bright.


General Manager Luca Guercilena summed up what was overall a successful Tour de France for the team:


“We need to realize that this year it was a very hard Tour, it was really difficult to hang onto GC. It was really, really tough this year with so many climbs and not so many time trials. For this reason we are happy with the seventh place.


“It was unfortunate we had the crash of Fabian because I am sure that he could have kept the yellow jersey for a few days and that would have been a good disposition for the team. We also missed Fabian for the team time trial, we could have lessened the time gaps.


“I think Bob [Jungels] showed really good capacity to be strong in the third week; he was top ten three times, and also in the front on Alpe d’Huez. He finally is showing his level and coming into his promise.



“We had a team that was compact and working well. Stijn, Gregy [Rast], and Markel [Irizar] all were strong and showed their capacity working every day for the team.  Haimar [Zubeldia] changed his role in the team, last year he was the leader and finished 8th, and this year he came to support Bauke and he did his job well.


“I think at the end it was a good Tour for us with Mollema in 7th position. Looking at who is in front of him, maybe he could be in sixth at the most, but top five would have been hard. This was a really competitive and hard Tour.”



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