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“This was a Vuelta with two faces. It was a disappointment that Theo couldn’t start and we didn’t expect Stef, Laurens and Luis León to abandon. On the other hand, we handled the setbacks very well."

Photo: Unipublic / Graham Watson










15.09.2013 @ 19:50 Posted by Andy Pedersen

Belkin Pro Cycling Team has ended its Vuelta a Espana campaign with top 10 on today’s stage with Robert Wagner. The team ended up with one stage win, won by Bauke Mollema at the 17th stage. It was a big disappointment for the team, when the dutch sprinter Theo Bos had to stay at home because of his low cortisol level.


“I’d hoped to end up on the podium today. I was focused and in a good position but I just went too early. I have to thank the guys for their help. I only had three to rely on; and tough they are not sprinters, they’ve really done so well in supporting me. I’ve reached Madrid in a good condition and I'm ready for the Worlds team time trial,” Wagner said to Belkin’s website.


Stage winner Bauke Mollema is very glad about his win, but it has been a Vuelta with ups and downs. The team isn’t represented in top 50 in the GC. Best man is Mollema who finished 52, almost 2 hours behind Horner.


“I knew that it would be hard to do another good overall after the Tour de France so it wasn’t a very big disappointment when it turned out that it just wasn’t in the cards for me. I switched my focus and made the best of it. It’s great that it resulted in a stage win. For our team it has been a very heavy Vuelta with many ups and downs,” Mollema said. 

Spaniard Juan Manuel Garate had planned to try winning a stage, but the plan didn’t succeed. He thinks that the team did a good job.


“It’s been a very heavy Vuelta. It was a fight each day. It was a difficult Vuelta for our team. Of course we didn’t have the start we were hoping for with Theo Bos dropping out ahead of the first stage. Eventually, we end up with four men but I think we’ve managed to make something out of it. Bauke has won a stage and we fought every day. That's not easy with only four men in the race, but we were present in almost every break that was formed. Despite all the setbacks, we did a good job as a team,” Garate said. 

Belkin coach Merijn Zeeman thinks the team kept fighting despite all the setbacks. He as the rest of the team is satisfied with Bauke Mollema’s victory.


“This was a Vuelta with two faces. It was a disappointment that Theo couldn’t start and we didn’t expect Stef, Laurens and Luis León to abandon. On the other hand, we handled the setbacks very well. Everyone within the team, from riders to staff, kept fighting and believing in opportunities that inevitably came. We kept trying all the way to Madrid. Sometimes we were out-numbered and sometimes the race situation wasn’t in our favour, but in the end, we got a nice reward with Bauke’s stage victory.” 



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