Bauke Mollema currently sits in tenth place in the overall classification of the Tour de France but has his sights set on a higher ranking to improve on last year’s sixth place in Paris. However stomach problems held him back as he lost time in the first ten stages of the race.
“Bauke has been seriously ill for a few days,” his teammate Laurens ten Dam told De Telegraaf. “Yes, I was pretty scared for my overall chances,” Mollema added.
The biggest time loss for the Belkin captain came in the fifth stage over the cobbles to Arenberg. He finished 2:44 down on the winner Lars Boom but lost 2:25 to Vincenzo Nibali.
“I really felt my worst during the cobbles stage and tried hard to limit my time loss there,” Mollema told De Telegraaf, “but I also suffered the day before and the day after the cobbles. You know that no matter what you do, you are going to lose time in the overall. And unfortunately that happened.”
On stage 10 Mollema finished in 12th position in a group with Rui Costa, John Gadret and the Trek Factory Racing duo Fränk Schleck and Haimar Zubeldia. In the overall he is now tenth at 1:45 from Porte who is currently second behind Nibali.
“I had hoped it would have gone a little better,” he added. “I lose time to several of the overall contenders but the top five is still within a minute’s reach. So all in all that’s not so bad.”