Bauke Mollema to be supported by Robert Gesink in Blanco Tour de France team
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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Bauke Mollema to be supported by Robert Gesink in Blanco Tour de France team

by Ben Atkins at 8:39 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 
Reversal of usual roles for Dutch climbers in sprinter-less team; team still to confirm Belkin as sponsor

bauke mollemaBauke Mollema will lead the Blanco Pro Cycling team at the upcoming Tour de France, and will be supported by Robert Gesink in a reverse of their usual roles. Mollema finished second in the recent Tour de Suisse - including a prestigious stage win on Crans Montana - while Gesink only recently returned to racing after succumbing to illness at the Giro d’Italia, and played a successful supporting role behind Paul Martens’ victory in the Skoda Tour de Luxembourg.

“We have geared our team around Bauke,” stated Blanco directeur sportif Nico Verhoeven. “We are looking to score a good classification with him. We are aiming for the top ten but in fact we’re simply trying for the maximum achievable. We could say that we’d like Bauke to finish fourth, but if he then finishes fourth when second was within grasp, I’d say we’d be less satisfied. But if it turns out that he is seventh and that is the best result we could have expected, then we’d be happy with that.”

While Gesink will be playing a secondary role to Mollema in the race, the 27-year-old will be able to take his own chances if they should arise. The team will be without a sprinter, as it leaves Theo Bos, Graeme Brown and Mark Renshaw at home, but will be packed with aggressive riders, who are also able to work for the team.

“Robert will have a relatively open role, but will be expected to take care of Bauke in the high mountain stages together with Laurens [ten Dam],” Verhoeven explained. “[Lars Petter] Nordhaug and [Lars] Boom are dangerous stage pirates but also understand what it means to be a domestique. Bram [Tankink] is our road captain and Maarten [Wynants] is a all-rounder who has proven his worth in the big tours. Sep [Vanmarcke] and Tom [Leezer] formed a good team with Bauke in the Tour de Suisse and kept him out of trouble in the run-up to the mountains.”

Whether or not the Blanco riders will take the start, in Corsica on July 29th, wearing their distinctive black, white and blue jerseys remains to be seen, however. It was announced in the Dutch press earlier in the month that the team had signed a sponsorship deal with American electronics company Belkin, which would begin at the Tour de France, but this has still to be officially confirmed by both the team and the sponsor.

Blanco Pro Cycling team for the Tour de France
Lars Boom, Laurens ten Dam, Robert Gesink, Tom Leezer, Bauke Mollema, Lars Petter Nordhaug, Bram Tankink, Sep Vanmarcke and Maarten Wynants

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