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"I will be there to support the GC riders (Bardet and Péraud) and ensure that they don't lose too much time in the dangeourse first week."

Photo: A.S.O.








02.07.2015 @ 21:21 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Jan Bakelants will start his third Tour de France on Saturday. This time he will have limited personal ambition. "I know what the team expects from me," Bakelants said.


In 2013 Jan Bakelants won his first Tour stage in Corsica and also wore the yellow jersey for two days. But in this Tour there is little room for personal ambitions.



"I will be there to support the GC riders (Bardet and Péraud) and ensure that they don't lose too much time in the dangeours first week," he told Sporza.


"If I'm good, then I can really help those guys, even in the mountains and sometimes it should be possible to assist them halfway up the final climb of a mountain stage. I can certainly make my contribution to a good GC for our riders and the teams classification."


As for his own chances of success, Bakelants is realistic. 


"I think I will probably get a little freedom in some stages but not very often. In the first week I see no opportunities for me. I think that I get my chance after the rest day."

The stage winner of 2013 has the luxury of being alone in his rooms during the Tour. 


"That is a luxury. The team knows that it is no problem for me and they have taking it into account.


"Normally the leader gets the chance if he prefers so but that was not the case and so I get the chance. I am thankful for that."



Johan Vansummeren has a similar role. 


"Wherever I can, I must help Bardet and Péraud, I must ensure that they can save save and be fresh for the final. That will not only be my job in the flat stages, but also in the mountain stages. Of course they know they should not count on me for the last climb of the day. Then it's leader against leader."


It is already the ninth Tour for Vansummeren. 


"I have now a lot of experience. In my first tour, I was very nervous, it was a step into the unknown. Now I know what to expect. This is both an advantage and a disadvantage. As long as you and your leader can stay upright, everything is good, but it can turn around quickly, sometimes due to a crash, and you also now know that the third week is heavy. Fatugue plays a role, it does not run as smoothly, so I do not look really look forward to that."


The stage with the cobbles should be something for the 2011 Paris-Roubaix champion but Vansummeren does not know if he can take his own chance. 


"That remains to be discussed. I hope so, but I also suspect that if something is wrong with our leaders, I will have to wait. It would be nice if nothing happens and I can take my chance. "



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