Lars Bak considers 2011 a success, honoured at Danish Bike Awards
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Friday, November 25, 2011

Lars Bak considers 2011 a success, honoured at Danish Bike Awards

by Kyle Moore at 4:58 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Danish rider recalls highlights of season with HTC Highroad

Lars BakSpeaking at the Danish Bike Awards, Lars Bak (HTC-Highroad) expressed pleasure about his 2011 season, during which the Danish rider was able to help his highly successful team, along with achieving some personal results of his own.

The 31-year-old had a busy season for HTC-Highroad, as he completed both the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France for the team, acting primarily as a kilometer-eating, early lead-out man for the Mark Cavendish train. But Bak was able to sprinkle some of his own positive results throughout the season, capped by an outstanding fifth place in Paris-Roubaix.

Bak got into the winning breakaway with eventual winner Johan Van Summeren (Garmin-Cervelo) and Martin Tjallingii (Rabobank) and was able to hold off all the favourites save for Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek), who finished second.

Along with this top five, Bak was part of the winning team time trial squad in stage one of the Giro; he finished eighth in the Ster ZLM Tour, and thirteenth overall in the Eneco Tour.

Bak’s accomplishments of 2011 earned him the top road rider and team rider awards at the Danish Bike Awards.

“I would say it was a good season, and I am exceedingly happy,” he told Feltet.dk at the event. “I never thought (these awards) would be so big and I was nominated for so many awards. But I am glad.”

Bak, who will ride for the updated Lotto-Belisol team next year, delayed the start of a training camp so he could attend the event. Given his super-domestique status, and zero individual wins in 2011, Bak sounded surprised that he was even honoured in such a way. But similar to riders such as Thomas Voeckler (Europcar), he thought that it may have been his time spent on the attack that earned him the attention.

“It’s like [a Danish dancing television show], you just need to be on TV so people know you,” he added. “It’s also about who votes. I do not know how many people voted. I also believe that it is somewhat random. I have no victories for this year, but then I can win some awards, so they are like my victory for the year.”

Before he moves to Lotto-Belisol, the longtime CSC and Saxo Bank rider reflected on his 2011 season, which spanned from the Tour of Qatar to Paris-Tours with hardly a break in between.

“I was also close to winning the last stage of the Eneco Tour and close to finishing in the top 10 there,” he said. “I rode several races where I was able to help the team. There was the Giro, Qatar, Oman, and Paris-Nice, where Tony Martin won, and the Tour, where I rode the entire race as a team rider.

“Additionally, I have also managed to take some results. I was number 82 in the World Tour rankings, and with the old ranking system, I would be around 150, so I'm happy. It doesn’t really seem like I could have done much better or much different. I was really pleased to get to the Tour this year and I am proud of my Paris-Roubaix. It was really good for my self-confidence to be at the forefront there.”

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