Bak intent on strong performance in Tour of Denmark, chasing results on home soil
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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Bak intent on strong performance in Tour of Denmark, chasing results on home soil

by VeloNation Press at 12:25 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Danish Lotto Belisol rider anticipating strong support from fans

Lars BakHeading the Lotto Belisol team in the race he twice finished eighth in during the past four editions, Lars Bak has said that he is feeling upbeat about his chances heading into the Tour of Denmark.

The 33 year old rider will spearhead the team and is motivated to perform strongly in the race.

“Of course I was tired after the Tour, but the past week I rode three criteriums in Denmark, of which I won one. Apart from the criteriums, which were hard races, I also did some training in the morning to keep up my form,” he said. “You have to keep the shape going.

“I have a good feeling and I’m really looking forward to my home country race. The shape is definitely there, it’s now all about getting the mind into ‘suffering’ again.”

The Tour of Denmark is his home race and he states that he’s very motivated to perform there. “Apart from the nationals, there aren’t that many opportunities to race here. When you come with a Belgian team and you are the only Danish rider in it, that is something special.”

He has an even bigger reason to be psyched this time round as the race begins in Silkeborg, where is his from, and he knows that he will have a large number of home supporters there. The support will be ratcheted up even higher as the race comes just after the end of the Tour de France, when many watched the sport on television and followed it in the media.

Bak will be joined by the sprinter Kenny Dehaes, plus Brian Bulgaç, Sander Cordeel, Jens Debusschere, Olivier Kaisen, Maarten Neyens and Fréderique Robert.

The race will also include a number of good names, including Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma Quick Step), Theo Bos (Belkin), Matti Breschel (Team Saxo Tinkoff) and Alex Rasmussen (Garmin-Sharp).

“It’s a strong peloton,” said Bak, noting the opposition. “My ambition is to get as far in the GC as possible. Three times I’ve been top ten in this race, I’d like to go for top five this year.”

However he regards a stage win as something that would be even better, although he states that with many of the stages suited to sprinters, it makes things more difficult. “It’s good that we have Kenny Dehaes with us,” he said, referring to the team’s quickest finisher in Denmark. “He’s in a good shape. There can always be crosswinds, so you have to be alert all the time.”

All the the stages will be important, but the GC riders will be particularly wary about the lumpy stage three to Vejle, which features several hills and should break things up, and also Saturday’s 12.1 kilometre race against the clock to Holbæk.

Bak knows that both will be key to a strong performance. “You have to ride a really good time trial to end up high in GC, like last year was the case with Lieuwe Westra, who also won the overall.

“The time trial is only 12,1 kilometers, normally I prefer longer ones, but in the morning there’s a stage of 105 kilometers. With the shape from the Tour, I hope to do a really good time trial. I set a good result in the first time trial of the Tour. And then there’s of course our new time trial bike, the Ridley Dean Fast.”

Bak’s top result thus far this year is sixth on stage thirteen of this month’s Tour de France.

Tour of Denmark (2.HC)

Stage 1: Wednesday 31st of July: Silkeborg – Varde (180 km)
Stage 2: Thursday 1st of August: Ribe – Sønderborg (180 km)
Stage 3: Friday 2nd of August: Sønderborg – Vejle (200 km)
Stage 4: Saturday 3rd of August: Høng – Asnæs Indelukke (105 km)
Stage 5: Saturday 3rd of August: Holbæk (12,1 km) (ITT)
Stage 6: Sunday 4th of August: Roskilde – Frederikberg (165 km)


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