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Once the real final started, I wasn't ready to go with the best of the best in the peloton. That's normal. Over the last couple of weeks I've been building up for the Tour of California," Ten Dam says

Photo: Belkin Pro Cycling Team

LAURENS TEN DAM

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TEAM JUMBO-VISMA

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TOUR DE ROMANDIE

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03.05.2014 @ 14:11 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Laurens Ten Dam failed to keep up with the best in yesterday's Tour de Romandie queen stage but the 17th place was no big issue for the Dutch climber. With the Tour of California being his first big goal this season, he is using the Swiss race to ramp up his condition for the American event.

 

The Belkin Pro Cycling TEAM made its mark with Laurens ten Dam yesterday in the Tour de Romandie. Heading towards the Tour of California next month, he did well to place 17th in the wet and mountainous stage three to Aigle, Switzerland.

"I went well, I survived," Ten Dam said. "On the last climb, though, I felt empty and out of energy. Once the real final started, I wasn't ready to go with the best of the best in the peloton. That's normal. Over the last couple of weeks I've been building up for the Tour of California."

The best of the best included Tour de France winner Chris Froome (Sky) and Simon Spilak (Katusha). They rode away over the final climb and down to Aigle, where Spilak won the two-up sprint.

Ten Dam closed at 3-25 minutes, just over two minutes back from a group with Vincenzo Nibali (Astana).

 

The third stage went according to plan for Belkin. The green and black Dutch team wanted Jack Bobridge in the escape of the day and wanted men up front later in the day.

"The first goal was to be in the break with Jack, and he made the break. That was great," Sports Director Erik Dekker explained. "Jack did well. He was strongly yesterday, too. Today, he made the break after it started. He got on it and fought.”

"They really had to push to get that first 15 seconds. They got five minutes, but in no time, with the favourites ready to fight, it was down to a minute and a half and they were caught."

 

Cold and wet weather marked the day. Dekker said that everyone was worried. Even if it did not rain heavily, the roads were slick and the group raced over passes at 1500 metres.

"We survived well," Dekker added. "After two climbs, over half way, we still had five riders left, and that was great.

 

"Laurens made the front group. He gave it all in the last climb. He felt empty, but managed 17th. That's what we could expect if we were being realistic. Laurens is on his way to getting top form."

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