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"I wanted to follow him, as I know that Zubeldia, who was in between, is not very strong on a downhill. Unfortunately, I was at my limit and couldn’t pass him. Right when we started the descent, Zubeldia punctured and I ended up...

Photo: Sirotti








22.07.2014 @ 19:39 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

It was a bad day for Belkin in today's stage of the Tour de France as team leader Bauke Mollema was unable to follow the best on the Port de Bales and the second GC leader Laurens Ten Dam lost time due to an unfortunate incident. A puncture for Haimar Zubeldia caused him to lose contact with his group and so made his time losses bigger than they ought to be.


The Belkin Pro Cycling TEAM had a day of plusses and minuses in the Tour de France’s 16th stage today. Laurens ten Dam moved up to eighth overall in Bagneres-de-Luchon, but that was at the expense of Bauke Mollema, who dropped from seventh to tenth. 

Steven Kruijswijk now sits 18th overall after the 237-kilometre stage won by Michael Rogers (Tinkoff-Saxo). He started the longest stage of this year’s Tour de France in 20th spot. The Belkin Pro Cycling TEAM is the only team with three riders in the top twenty and occupies second place in the team classification. 


Ten Dam ended placed 26th in today’s stage and lost over a minute on a group with rivals including maillot jaune Vincenzo Nibali in an unfortunate manner. 

“On the final climb, three riders escaped,” said Ten Dam. “I was sitting behind with six others. König took the lead when we closed in on the top. I wanted to follow him, as I know that Zubeldia, who was in between, is not very strong on a downhill. Unfortunately, I was at my limit and couldn’t pass him. Right when we started the descent, Zubeldia punctured and I ended up all alone. The last 15 kilometres felt like ages. I gave my all until I reached the finish line. I burned 5500 calories. That says enough. 

“Normally on a descent, the brake lights of cars or motorcycles can help you, but now it was hard to orientate myself. König was able to re-connect with the group with Nibali, so I lost some valuable seconds. My legs didn’t feel as good as in the Alps. Today hurt but I think everyone suffered. Uphill, my legs were OK, that’s something we can build on, especially in the next few days.” 

Bauke Mollema was disappointed but remains very combative ahead of the next few days. 


“Unfortunately, it didn’t go so well today,” said Mollema. “The final climb was very difficult. Four kilometres from the summit, I was dropped. It’s difficult to keep giving all you have all the way to the top, but of course I wanted to limit my damage and get to the finish as fast as possible. 

“Just before the summit, I connected with Frank Schleck and Jurgen Van Den Broeck, and the three of us worked together pretty well. 

“I definitely want to keep my top ten spot. It’s a nice position. Especially with Laurens up there, as well. We’ll keep fighting for it during the next few days.” 

Sports Director Nico Verhoeven won’t change the roles within the team because of today.


“Right now, they’re in about the same time. We knew we could expect this after the Alps. Laurens is slightly better than Bauke at the moment. Today, when we noticed it again, we gave Lau carte blanche to keep up with the other rivals. 

“They both will remain the leaders of our team. Bauke could very well end up ahead Laurens again tomorrow. With two men in the top ten, we’re still doing a very good job.” 



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