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“I've decided the GC is no longer a goal. My legs are just not good enough. "I'll try to save energy wherever possible and pick a day to give it a try. We still have a few nice stages to go. Hopefully I can also do someth...

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BAUKE MOLLEMA

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LAURENS TEN DAM

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STEF CLEMENT

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TEAM JUMBO-VISMA

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VUELTA A ESPAÑA

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03.09.2013 @ 14:21 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

After a couple of disappointing performances in the Andalusian mountains, Bauke Mollema has decided to give up on his GC ambitions. Instead, the Dutchman will target select stages and hopes to offer support for Laurens Ten Dam in the mountains.

 

On the back of a 6th place in the Tour de France, Bauke Mollema lined up at the Vuelta a Espana with big ambitions. Originally, the Belkin captain intended to use the race as a build-up to the world championships but when his legs felt good in training, he decided to give the GC a go.

 

Everything went according to plan in the first part of the race when he finished with the best riders on the short, sharp uphill finishes that dominated the opening stages. However, it started to unravel when the race hit the longer climbs in Andalusia and the Dutchman lost time in both Saturday's and Sunday's stages.

 

Feeling that his legs were not up for the GC, he decided to put his GC ambitions on hold an deliberately lost more than 20 minutes yesterday. Instead, he has now set his sights on stage wins and will play a support role for teammate Laurens Ten Dam who is 16th overall.

 

“I've decided the GC is no longer a goal. My legs are just not good enough," he said. "I'll try to save energy wherever possible and pick a day to give it a try. We still have a few nice stages to go. Hopefully I can also do something for Laurens. My morale is still high.”

 

Ten Dam has also been unable to reproduce the kind of efforts that made him a top 10 candidate in the Tour before fading in the last week. Yesterday he once again lost time but fought his way up the steep Alto de Hazallanas in 25th and still hopes to make it into the top 10 on GC.

 

“Lau is Lau and he always works hard," sports director Erik Dekker said. "He placed 25th and that’s a good performance, but he just lacks that little bit of power to keep up with the best. Lau's middle name is fight and that’s what he will continue to do." 

 

Time trial specialist Stef Clement had showed strength by making it into the break during the very hectic first part of the race. The move was ultimately caught but Clement was happy to take his chance and promises to do so again later in the race.

 

“I raced by heart. The plan was to be in the breakaway, but the fight to be in it took a little longer and cost more energy than I'd hoped," he explained. "However, once you start something like this, there is no way back. I really enjoyed it. Sometimes you have to create your own opportunities and that’s exactly what I did. For our team, that’s important in the next two weeks but first we’ll enjoy a well-deserved rest day.” 

 

Today the Vuelta enjoys a rest day but resumes tomorrow with the race's only time trial. Starting at 13.10 you can follow the stage in its entirety on CyclingQuotes.com/live.

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