Belkin Tour News – Quotes following stage 16
While Bauke Mollema successfully defended his second place overall in Tour de France stage 16, Laurens ten Dam suffered a setback. In the race to Gap, won by Movistar’s Rui Costa, the Belkin Pro Cycling Team rider lost a position to Nairo Quintana (Movistar). The Dutchman is now sixth, but he remains hungry.
Tour de France: Quotes following stage 16
“I wanted to be in the breakaway and I was, but soon after I felt that my legs were not good enough. I did not really get going and felt that staying ahead wouldn’t have made any sense. I let go and made my way back to the peloton. From then on I did what I could for the boys.”
Laurens ten Dam
“I honestly did not expect a fight today. Unfortunately, I could not follow on the final climb. It was an explosive one. When two riders in front of me cracked, a gap suddenly appeared that I could not close. It’s not fun to lose time in a relatively easy stage, but I have to take my loss and in the time trial tomorrow, I’ll give everything I have. The previous time trial gave me a morale boost. This one suits me even better.”
“I felt good today. At the foot of the final climb, the peloton shattered into pieces but I maintained a high pace and eventually, I was able to do some of the dirty work for Laurens. One kilometre before the top, I exploded unfortunately. I keep going better and better, though, and with the stages in the Alps coming up, I like what I see. Looking forward to those stages, I won’t give it my all in tomorrow’s time trial.”
“The rest day served me well. It resulted in a good day today. On the first climb, I kept my ground. After two weeks in the Tour, I’m happy to see I’m maintaining most of my condition.”
“I think we can expect more attacks from riders like Contador in the coming days. Today I felt good. Before the stage, I watched a video of the final climb’s descent so that I knew exactly how it flowed.
Tomorrow’s time trial is quite tricky, but I hope I can take time on Contador. With two climbs, I fancy my chances on the parcours. The previous time trial gave me a lot of morale.”
“My legs felt really good in the final. It would be nice if they stay this way. In the next few days, I hope I can be of valuable assistance to Bauke and Laurens. Today gives me a morale boost. Of course it’s sad for Laurens that he drops from fifth to sixth place, but hopefully – with my good legs – I can help him take back the fifth place.”
“I was suffering in the first few hours. It was very hot and I always struggle with heat like that. Just before the Col de Manse, I guided the guys to the front. I took it easy on the climb itself. Tomorrow, I will have to give everything I have to make it within the time limit. The GC riders will clock fast times.”
“The first hour was filled with breakaway attempts. I survived and was able to do my work for the team. For us it’s nice to be in a breakaway, but it’s not wise to waste too much energy on trying to be in it; to protect Bauke and Laurens is more important.”
“The most exciting moment of the day was the lead-up to the final climb, the Col de Manse. You need to be at the front of the peloton when the climb starts as you want to be able to cover any attacks by the other GC riders. Luckily, Laurens only lost time to Quintana and Rodríguez; he kept other rivals behind him. Sixth place is still very nice for him. It looked like if as Bauke was having a hard time on the Col de Manse, but if you know him, you know that that’s just the way he rides his bike. He was able to follow pretty well.”