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"In the first place I wants to win a stage. Last year I won a stage in the Dauphiné. If you can win a stage in the WorldTour every year, it means something."

Photo: A.S.O.








16.06.2015 @ 21:52 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Jan Bakelants seems to find to his best form. The AG2R rider has proved himself in recent days in the Tour of Switzerland and has done so with the Tour de France in mind. "I think AG2R know that I'm an interesting element for the Tour team," Bakelants tells Sporza.


Yesterday Jan Bakelants was already on the offensive in the finale of the stage over the Gotthardpass and today Bakelants attacked again.


"That last climb was an ideal springboard" Bakelants tells Sporza. "Henao Marcato and I wanted to go there. I actually thought we could make it, but we never really got much advantage.


"It was clear that Orica-GreenEDGE had targeted this stage. They ride fast all day to not give too much room for attacks. When they took it easier, I tried. But there are always people who have an interest in riding for their leader."


Bakelants clearly feels good on Swiss territory. "In the first place I wants to win a stage. Last year I won a stage in the Dauphiné. If you can win a stage in the WorldTour every year, it means something."


Does he see more chances this week? "The stage tomorrow is difficult, but it is a nice test to see how far I can get. Saturday would be interesting, but Orica will probably try to do the same as today."



The Tour de France is approaching and it seems that Bakelants has found his good legs in time for the good legs. Does it increase his chances of a Tour-selection at AG2R? "That's the impression I have.


"I think AG2R realize that I'm an interesting element for the Tour team. I climb good enough to stay with leaders Bardet and Péraud for a long time, but I also know that I should be able to target a stage in the mountains. It is always interesting to have people on your team that can aim at two goals."


Will he get that freedom? "I think the team agrees in that. If there is an important escape, it's nice to have someone who can go for the victory if they stay away. I am that type of rider.


It is clear that Bakelants is aiming high as he does not rule out a stage win in the mountains. "In the Tour I see no other option than to win a stage in the mountains.


"I think there is no chance for me in the first week. There will be echelons, cobblestones and explosive climbs where I'm sure I won't be in the mix. But in the mountains I can maybe succeed with an attack. I can get far."



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