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"I had hoped for a little bit more, but the differences are still small. I keep looking at things day by day. Hopefully I improve some more. The stages with the really long climbs have yet to come.”

Photo: Sirotti










14.07.2014 @ 21:05 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Bauke Mollema moved back into the top 10 in the overall standings in today's stage of the Tour de France but again the Dutchman was unable to keep up with the best. He now hopes to improve before the race heads into the Alps and the Pyrenees.


Bauke Mollema climbed back into the top ten of the 2014 Tour de France on Monday during the French National Day Quatorze Juillet. The leader of the Belkin Pro Cycling TEAM arrived at the line 12th in stage 10, finishing atop of La Planche des Belles Filles. He’s now 10th overall, at 4:08 behind Vincenzo Nibali of Astana, who won the stage and took back the yellow jersey from Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Belisol). 

“Today’s parcours was really hard,” said Mollema. “It was up and down all day long. There was a lot of rain, but luckily it wasn’t really cold. That was our luck, but still we needed to stay focused throughout the day. I felt pretty strong when we started the final climb, but when Nibali attacked, I couldn’t follow. I had hoped for a little bit more, but the differences are still small. I keep looking at things day by day. Hopefully I improve some more. The stages with the really long climbs have yet to come.”

"We’ve had ten days of racing,” said Mollema. “That doesn’t happen very often, normally the rest day is on Monday. There were few quiet stages, there was always something happening. I look forward to the rest day. I’ll do a 1.5-hour ride, nothing crazy. I just hope to recover as well as possible. I hope to relax, maybe I’ll read a book.” 


Laurens ten Dam finished 22nd and moved up to 19th place in the overall.


“It was really hard out there today,” said Ten Dam. “It was a very tough day. I knew that in advance, but the weather made it extra hard. It was not normal how much water we had to cope with. The rain starts to feel familiar by now. I made sure I was properly dressed, as there’s always the risk of getting ill. There were a lot crashes today. We needed to stay extra concentrated during the descents. From the first to the last kilometre, I was suffering.” 

Ten Dam still was able to do some important work for Mollema.


“On the penultimate climb I was dropped, but I managed to bridge back and I helped Bauke to start the final climb in the front. I was again dropped right before a flat part. From that moment on, I rode my pace. I hung around hundred metres behind the group until very late. The gap increased in the final, but I managed to limit the damage.


"Unfortunately, Bauke lost some time as well. That's a shame. Of course we would have liked to be fourth and fifth by now, just like last year, but 2014 is not 2013. We did everything we could to be good here and we’re on our level, but the competition is strong as well.” 


Bram Tankink is looking forward to Tuesday’s rest day.


“Today was a hard stage, from the beginning to the end. I’m glad I’m here at the finish line. It’s very nice that we’re allowed to take a break tomorrow.” 

Lars Boom feels the same.


“It’s been another tough day, but I was able to hang on until very late. Only on the third last climb I was dropped. We past ten days were pretty intense for the peloton. Everyone is happy that we can give our legs a little bit of rest tomorrow.” 

Sports Director Merijn Zeeman is satisfied with the way the team performed during the first ten days of the Tour. Things went according to plan on Monday as well.


“Bauke was again well protected, this time by our climbers. During the last 30 kilometres we were in the right spot on every crucial point. Bauke didn’t feel super during the first week, but the gap with the first three is not very big, and we are still in a good position.” 

The Tour lost another favourite for the overall on Monday when Alberto Contador abandoned. Earlier this week, Chris Froome also quit the race. Zeeman said, “That is very sad, but what happened with Contador, could also happen to us. That’s why we prepare ourselves meticulously and live from day to day. We must make sure that we stay out of trouble. We’ve won a stage, which was an important goal for us, and now we want to finish as high as possible in the overall with Bauke. The whole team is in a good shape and so we also have opportunities for another stage win.” 



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