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Belkin Tour News – With 9 riders into Paris

In a head-to-head fight with Jakob Fuglsang, Bauke Mollema successfully defended his sixth place Tour de France general classification. The Dutchman of the Belkin Pro Cycling Team and Astana’s Dane passed the line together in the 20th stage to Annecy-Semnoz, the Mollema 16th and the latter 17th. Tomorrow the Belkin Pro Cycling Team will ride into Paris with nine riders.

Tour de France: Quotes following stage 20

Lars Boom
“I had a good day. I was able to support Bauke and Laurens until the final climb. The fact that this was the last real stage gave me extra energy. Normally, the last kilometre is the longest one but today it just flew by.”

Laurens ten Dam
“I’m glad it’s over and I’m happy the Tour de France is only three weeks long. I gave everything I had today; I really couldn’t have gone any faster because my legs weren’t good enough anymore. Even if I was higher up originally, I’m happy with my 13th place. I’ve worked a lot for Bauke and if someone told me on beforehand I would finish 13th, I would have quickly said, ‘deal!'”

Robert Gesink
“I used up a lot of energy yesterday so today didn’t go as I had hoped, but saying that, it wasn’t a disaster. It wasn’t about me today; it was about Bauke, who kept his GC position. Unfortunately, Laurens lost two spots but he did what he could.”

Tom Leezer
“Although I wasn’t struggling to make the time limit, it was a really difficult day. The last five kilometres were quite special; I was in pain, but passing the finish felt like liberation – a Tour complete.”

Bauke Mollema
“If my legs had been super, I would’ve gone with the big names, but the pace was so ridiculously high on the final climb. At the foot, I was already at my max. When I saw Fuglsang being dropped, I thought, that’s my man. He probably wasn’t happy with me sitting in his wheel but I think he understood. I’m very happy with my sixth place; it’s the best result possible for me.”

Lars Petter Nordhaug
“I was very strong today and I did a good job supporting Laurens. Together we were able to limit the damage.”

Bram Tankink
“I was a lot better today than yesterday, but I was still happy to see the finish line. I was even able to have a laugh with the fans while riding by. It’s nice to end this last real stage with a good feeling.”

Sep Vanmarcke
“The fact that this was the last real stage gave me a lot of motivation. I was able to give just a little bit more than I normally do. I tried to help the boys as much as possible, so looking at it that way, it was a day like any other this Tour.”

Maarten Wynants
“I’m exhausted. The last few days, I didn’t feel too well and today, I was already off the back during the first climb. I was between the chase cars for thirty kilometres. Only when the second last climb started, I was able to join the gruppetto, and even then, I was having a hard time maintaining the pace.”

Nico Verhoeven
“We wanted to make sure Bauke and Laurens could begin the final climb as fresh as possible today. The whole team worked hard for that. Laurens is still suffering from his crash in the time trial and has not really improved since then but he worked very hard today. Enforcement was all that mattered for Bauke and we’re delighted he succeeded.”

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