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“We’ve seen König’s results in the previous time trials and he’s very good against the clock. It’s going to be difficult to keep him behind us. Zubeldia is experienced and can do well in TT’s as well...

Photo: Sirotti








25.07.2014 @ 20:21 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Laurens Ten Dam and Bauke Mollema got safely through a very dangerous day of the Tour de France and is now ready for tomorrow's time trial. Not known as a specialist in the discipline, Ten Dam fears that he will be passed by Leopold König in the overall standings.


The leaders of the Belkin Pro Cycling TEAM were kept out of trouble the whole day by their team-mates during the 19th stage of the Tour de France, but weren’t able to avoid a major crash in the final. The damage wasn’t too bad, however. Bauke Mollema and Laurens ten Dam were both fine physically and race-wise. The crash took place in the final three kilometres, which meant they kept their time in the classification. 

Garmin-Sharp’s Ramunas Navardauskas won the stage solo after 208 kilometres between Maubourguet Val d'Adour to Bergerac. Sep Vanmarcke finished ninth in the chaotic sprint of the crash-wrecked peloton.

“We went down right under the three-kilometre sign,” said Ten Dam. “Luckily I was able to brake and steer out, otherwise, I could have been jammed by riders crashing from behind. I’m happy we are where we are. That’s a good thing.”



Mollema didn’t have a nice day in the saddle.


“This wasn’t a fun ride. The weather was horrible, sometimes you couldn’t see anything because of the rain and in the final there was a major crash. I was in the middle, but stayed upright. Around me everybody crashed. Just before the spill, I wanted to move up because it was pretty hectic in the peloton, but I’m happy I didn’t because I could have gone down too. In the Tour you have to remain focused all the time.” 


The GC riders will fight their final battle tomorrow in a 54-kilometre time trial. Mollema (at 13-56 minutes) and Ten Dam (14-15) occupy seventh and eighth place in the overall and hope to remain those positions.

“We’ll have to defend our leads,” said Ten Dam. He knows that the gap with sixth overall Tejay van Garderen (11-34) is too big, but that the danger comes mostly from behind, from Leopold König (14-37) and Haimar Zubeldia (16-25).

“We’ve seen König’s results in the previous time trials and he’s very good against the clock,” Ten Dam continued. “It’s going to be difficult to keep him behind us. Zubeldia is experienced and can do well in TT’s as well.

“I guess I’ve never ridden a time trial this long, and I’ve been a pro for quite a while. We will mainly focus on our own ride and then we’ll see where we end up. I want to do the time trial of my life. I’ll do anything to ensure that.”

For Mollema a 50-plus TT is quite unusual, as well, but he and his team-mates are able to take confidence from Bianchi’s new Aquila CV time trial bike. 

“I did a time trial like tomorrow’s a few years ago in the Tour, but 54 kilometres on your own is really long. It’s nice that we have Bianchi’s new time trial bike. That bike is very aerodynamic and that’s an advantage. I’m very glad that it’s here.”



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