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"I hope to return to the pro ranks but I can't say whether I will succeed. I have several contacts. There will be three pro teams next year in the Netherlands, but I'm aiming higher than the pro continental level."

Photo: Vacansoleil-DCM

BERT JAN LINDEMAN

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RABOBANK DEVELOPMENT TEAM

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TOUR DE L'AIN

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15.08.2014 @ 22:19 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

8 months after dropping to the continental level, Bert-Jan Lindeman proved that he belongs to the WorldTour when he held off Romain Bardet to win the Tour de l'Ain queen stage. The Dutchman hopes that the victory will help him return to the WorldTour.

 

At the end of the 2013 season, Bert-Jan Lindeman’s career was hit by a major setback when he failed to find a new professional team after Vacansoleil had folded. Hence, he had to step down to continental level with the Rabobank team but he has done nothing to hide his ambition to return to the highest level.

 

Today he recommended himself for the WorldTour teams when he took a fantastic solo victory in the Tour de l’Ain queen stage. Having been part of the early breakaway, he benefited from the fact that the favourites underestimated and were way too late in starting a chase.

 

On the day’s hardest climb, Ag2r tried to blow things to pieces before sending off defending champion Romain Bardet in pursuit but it was too late for the climbing star. Lindeman had dropped his rivals and despite Bardet’s hard effort, he managed to hold off the favourite to take both the stage win and the leader’s jersey.

 

"I've been in the breakaway in the pros races many times, and this is only the second or third time that I can fight for the win," he told Directvelo. You must also be lucky. Today, the chance was there."

 

"I knew I had to get to the top as the leader, otherwise Bardet would have dropped me. I arrived at the bottom of the descent with 13-15km to go with a two-minute advantage.I felt that I was losing group and it was slightly uphill. I gave everything and it was enough. I think it came backt to a minute. This is perfect. 

 

"We still have 130km before we have the final victory. It will be difficult. We will do everything to defend my position. That's what you do when you are the leader. It will be hard but we will try.

 

"Earlier this year, I knew I got a great with Rabobank. I trained hard. I found a new team, a new coach with Grischa Niermann. I have been doing well from the beginning of the year. I like cycling and to be there in the finales. That's what I want. I have learned from my past mistakes and I hope to show that I deserve another chance.

 

"I hope to return to the pro ranks but I can't say whether I will succeed. I have several contacts. There will be three pro teams next year in the Netherlands, but I'm aiming higher than the pro continental level."

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