What's Cool In Road Cycling

Mont Ventoux can’t get Belkin down

When the dust settled after 242 gruelling kilometres with the Mont Ventoux finish, Bauke Mollema and Laurens ten Dam maintained second and fifth in the Tour de France’s overall. Yellow jersey Chris Froome was in a league of his own in stage 15, but working together, the Dutchmen held off the rest of the competition.

Tour de France: Quotes following stage 15

Lars Boom
“It was a tough day. Every French rider wanted to be in the break, because it was Bastille Day and since Europcar had missed out they kept racing like maniacs until the foot of the Ventoux. With the team we dropped off Bauke and Laurens at the front, and after that I took it easy.”

Laurens ten Dam
“I’m glad I was able to help Bauke today and I’m happy with the fact that we both successfully defended our positions in the GC. I felt really good on the Ventoux. Unfortunately, I could not follow Froome but that is no surprise. This whole year he has been too strong.”

Robert Gesink
“What a beautiful day. I was amongst the best fifteen for a long time during the climb, which is a very good sign. When I was dropped, I kept going as hard as possible for the team classification and in case I could be of further use. Unfortunately, I could not close the gap. If I had, I could’ve done more work for Bauke and for Laurens. I’m pleased with how the team is running now; it’s fun out there and I get great satisfaction from my work. I look forward to the Alps, days with multiple climbs.”

Tom Leezer
“It was an intense day. In the last twenty minutes, I was seeing stars. I was happy to reach the finish. To race on Ventoux, in the Tour, on Bastille Day, was a very nice experience. There were many Dutch fans and thanks to the success of the team, they were very enthusiastic. I noticed that some of them even knew my name. The Tour is alive!”

Bauke Mollema
“I’m not sure if I’ve ever had to go so deep. In the last ten kilometres I was really suffering. Laurens was very strong and did a lot of work. That was great. During the climb, some small gaps were made, but in then end I’m still second in the GC. I had to give everything I had, but I guess you can take a lot of pain when you’re second overall.”

Bram Tankink
“You know that on the Mont Ventoux huge time differences can be made, especially after such a long and fast stage, but Bauke and Laurens did great. For me it was a pretty good day, too. I maintained my spot until 15 kilometres from the line, afterwards I just enjoyed the scenery.”

Sep Vanmarcke
“Today was a madhouse because of the high pace in the run-up to the Ventoux. I was able to do my work, but at the foot of the Ventoux I was exhausted. I managed to finish in the gruppetto while looking forward to the rest day tomorrow.”

Maarten Wynants
“Right from the start it was on. At no time it was easy. It was my job to make sure the boys had enough to eat and drink during the stage. With the Mont Ventoux coming up it was obviously very important that they did not get dehydrated.”

Nico Verhoeven
“This was a good day for our team. It’s very nice that we still have two riders in the top five. After our good performances in the Pyrenees, we again confirmed that we are among the best men in the race. We are going to enjoy this good feeling during tomorrow’s rest day; especially since we are staying in a very nice hotel.”

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