Rabobank has had to cancel plans to explore this year's Tour de France Pyrénées mountain stages, due to bad weather. A heavy snowfall put an end to the idea, with Omega Pharma-Lotto's Jurgen Van den Broeck also having to cancel his plans.
Robert Gesink and Laurens ten Dam together with directeur sportif Adri van Houwelingen had flown to the mountains to check out the four Pyrenees stages to be faced in July. On Monday, they were able to ride stage 14, from Revel to Ax-3 Domains and checked-out the mountaintop finish. “The two cols, the Port de Palheres and the finish in Ax-3 Domains, were new to Laurens and Robert saw the final climb for the first time,” van Houwelingen said on the team's website.
The three saw some some snow that day, “but it was not a problem and the passes were open as usual.” Things changed the next morning, however. There was a heavy snowfall overnight, and although they waited for a change in weather, it didn't come. “So we cut the knot and went home. At least the boys can train there.”
Van den Broeck didn't even make it to France. “Normally Jurgen would leave for France on Thursday with team manger Herman Frison, where they would explore the Pyrenees stages of the Tour de France and stay for six days. But heavy snow in the mountains makes cycling impossible,” according to the team's website.