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“I finished among the other GC riders and things went pretty easily for me. On the final steep climb, I knew that I needed to be at the front as the group could split. Thanks to the boys, I was in the position I needed to be."

Photo: Sirotti

BAUKE MOLLEMA

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NEWS

BRAM TANKINK

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NEWS

LAURENS TEN DAM

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NEWS

TEAM JUMBO-VISMA

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TOUR DE FRANCE

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06.07.2014 @ 21:24 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Bauke Mollema got confirmation that he will be in the mix for a top result in the overall standings when he finished with the favourites in today's hard stage of the Tour de France. In fact, the Dutchman claimed that things have been pretty easy for him.

 

Bauke Mollema returned to the position in which he finished last year’s Tour de France after just two days of racing. The Belkin Pro Cycling TEAM rider placed eighth in Sunday’s stage two that ran from York to Sheffield and moved up to sixth overall. 

Astana’s Vincenzo Nibali won the stage and took the race leader’s yellow jersey. 

 

“I feel good about today,” said Mollema. “I finished among the other GC riders and things went pretty easily for me. On the final steep climb, I knew that I needed to be at the front as the group could split. Thanks to the boys, I was in the position I needed to be. 

“In the final, there was a moment that I thought about an attack, as you always have a chance in a small group. Unfortunately, I was boxed in when I wanted to attack and right after that, Nibali took off. I hoped someone would try and close the gap, but nobody did.” 
 

Laurens ten Dam didn’t feel very well when he arrived in England but on Sunday he already felt better. With a 33rd place and a time loss of sixteen seconds, the Dutchman managed to limit his damage. 

“On the last steep climb, I just couldn’t go any faster and was dropped. Sixteen seconds is not much however, I can build on this. I feel a lot better than yesterday. A few days ago, I would have signed up for this. I hope to improve over the next few days so that I’m completely fit again by next weekend.” 

Ten Dam praised the English fans, but expressed concern.

 

“They are fantastic. I’ve never experienced anything like this. This is one reason why you become a cyclist, but I have to say that occasionally things got quite dangerous. Moreover, it makes the race extra difficult. Especially on the narrow climbs, where you sometimes get stuck in a sort of tunnel and you are forced to accelerate often in order to reconnect with other groups again.” 
 

Bram Tankink assisted his leaders during the 200 kilometres between York and Sheffield and was pleased with the results. 

“We could have gained something today, but there was certainly something to lose as well. I’m very pleased with the fact that Bauke finished in the first group. That means he’s OK and that’s something we can work with over the next week.” 
 

Sports director Nico Verhoeven saw his team succeed in its mission to prevent its leaders from trouble and couldn’t be anything but happy. Although, he was gutted by the fact that Sep Vanmarcke couldn’t try for the stage win. 

“We have achieved our goal: Bauke finished in the first group and Laurens was up there as well. Laurens loses some time and that’s not what you want, but sixteen seconds is peanuts. 

“I saw the team work well together. On the narrow roads, our leaders were kept in good position by the rest. 

“Unfortunately, Sep had a mechanical in a decisive moment, which saw him lose contact with the front of the race. Otherwise, he could have sprinted with that small group. Greg van Avermaet finished third today, that’s something Sep is capable of achieving.” 

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