Luckless Laurens Ten Dam closes 2010 and looks to 2011
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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Luckless Laurens Ten Dam closes 2010 and looks to 2011

by Jered Gruber at 11:02 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
"2011 will be my year," says Rabobank rider

The unfortunate 2010 campaign of Laurens Ten Dam looks to be, in a way, almost thankfully over. The Dutch climbing talent admits that he barely managed "to go four weeks in a row without breaking something" this season in an interview with the Rabobank team website. Now, with his latest fall at the Vuelta, the Rabobank rider's season is over, and he can now prepare for what should be a big 2011.

"This was a complete lost season, and I want to get it behind me as quickly as possible."

It's easy to see how a season sans luck could lead to terribly low morale, but Ten Dam has held on to his sanity well it seems.

"I crashed hard three times this year, and three times I broke something. Crashes happen to everybody. I managed to make it all the way until this year before I broke a bone as a professional. This season though, I barely made it four weeks in succession without breaking something. You can become very despondent in situations like that, and I had to fight to ensure that did not happen."

The three crashes interspersed themselves at all the wrong times - just as the rider was regaining top fitness and looking toward a big goal. The first came at the Ruta del Sol and resulted in a broken hip. That injury kept Ten Dam out of most of the first part of the season. Then, after recovering and returning to solid fitness and a ride on Rabobank's Tour de France team, Ten Dam crashed again, this time breaking two vertebrae and suffering a slew of other injuries. That fall led to a lengthy recovery process, but again, the tenacious rider battled back to take part in the Vuelta. The final Grand Tour of 2010 wasn't going supremely well for him, but the fact that he was even there and racing decently was a huge positive...then he crashed again, a broken wrist the cause of his departure this one final time.

In any case, the winner of the mountains competition at the Tour de Romandie in 2009 is doing his best to forget the year that was. In cases like this, contends Ten Dam, that's the only thing you can do.

"It is terribly frustrating, but we should not make too big of a drama out of it. I do not want to linger in that atmosphere. I want to look forward. My head will be empty, and I will let everything settle. I will go through this process, and gradually begin to look toward next season. 2010 will quickly be forgotten, and I will not look back. What else can I say? It was not meant to be.

Ten Dam is hopeful for the possibilities that 2011 brings though, and rightly so. In between the three major crashes he suffered this season, he showed sparks of promise. After his crash at the Tour de Suisse that took him out of the Tour de France, the 29 year old described his fitness as beyond anything he'd ever experienced before - "climbing was even easy." Through the terrible luck, Ten Dam still seemed to have turned a corner. Long hailed as one of the climbing hopes from the Netherlands, he looks closer than ever to fulfilling that promise next season.

"I realized this year that I can recover very quickly. 2011 should be my year. Will begin again with fresh courage and not look back."



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