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"In hindsight, however, it wasn’t a good choice. The bike is great, but I didn’t use the TT bike in training too often this year and so I just wasn’t really used to the position. After ten kilometres, I started to fee...

Photo: Sirotti








26.07.2014 @ 20:01 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Bauke Mollema was the big loser in today's stage of the Tour de France when he slipped from 7th to 10th in the overall standings. The Dutchman regretted his decision to use a new bike on a bad day when his teammate Laurens Ten Dam dropped from 8th to 9th.


The penultimate stage of the Tour de France today didn’t go as the Belkin Pro Cycling TEAM had hoped. However, when final rider and yellow jersey Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) crossed the line in the 54-kilometer time trial, the team still had three riders in the top 15.

Laurens ten Dam (55th in the TT) held the ninth position and Bauke Mollema (140th) moved to tenth. Steven Kruijswijk was the team’s best finisher today and took 15th spot. Tony Martin of Omega Parma-QuickStep won the stage.


“Perhaps I started a little bit too cautious,” said Ten Dam afterwards. “At the first intermediate point, I was trailing Zubeldia by a big margin. Merijn Zeeman kept yelling from the car and because of that, I was able to fight back. I didn’t lose a lot of time and I did well after that. It’s better to start a bit too slow, than too fast. Otherwise, you just break down.

“Before the Tour, I would have signed for a ninth place in the overall, but now, falling eight seconds short of Zubeldia, it doesn’t feel very good. I’ve said it a few times over the past few days, Zubeldia is a sly old fox. When I was cheering on the peloton myself in 2003, he already finished fifth. It’s harsh that he passed me in the overall on the second last day, but still, I’m happy and proud.”

Ten Dam was very enthusiastic about the Aquila CV, Bianchi’s new time trial bike, which was put to the test for the first time today.

"Yeah, just great. The bike’s handling and braking are really smooth. It took me some time to make it work yesterday and still this morning, but using video images, I was able to find myself the right position on the bike.”

Mollema gambled and lost.


“I wanted to take the risk and start on the new bike today, as it tested a lot faster. In hindsight, however, it wasn’t a good choice. The bike is great, but I didn’t use the TT bike in training too often this year and so I just wasn’t really used to the position. After ten kilometres, I started to feel cramps and after that, I couldn’t really put enough power on my pedals.

“Of course, you want to ride the fastest bike, but today, for me, it just didn’t work. It was my choice and it’s too bad that I dropped to tenth.”

Sports Director Nico Verhoeven sat in the team car behind Bauke Mollema during the time trial and saw his rider suffer.

“After some physical discomfort in the first week, Bauke was struggling every day of this Tour. He had a revival in the Pyrenees, but all along, we knew that one day he would break. He just didn’t have the power anymore.

“Bauke may feel that he made a wrong choice by opting for this new bike, but I just see a rider who was completely exhausted.”



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