Tour de France Shorts: Mixed fortunes for Trek during stage 2

Cancellara comments on UCI Hour Record, Degenkolb caught behind crash

Mixed fortunes for Mollema and Trek Factory Racing after stage 2 

While the Trek Factory Racing team was celebrating that Fabian Cancellara managed to capture the yellow jersey on Sunday afternoon, the team’s dedicated GC-rider was having mixed feelings. Dutch rider Bauke Mollema was at the wrong side of the final split in the peloton, losing 1:28 on the day. After a good time trial Mollema is now 30th in the general classification.

“Everybody’s very happy with the yellow jersey. That’s more important right now. It’s good to be in yellow and I made it through the day alright. I was glad to see that most other GC-riders were in my group,” Mollema said after freshening up in the team bus in Neeltje Jans. “It’s super for the team, the sponsor and Fabian to take the yellow jersey. Yesterday we were all hoping for it but it didn’t succeed by a few seconds and now it worked out which is great.”

Mollema explained that it was very nervous in the peloton when the early breakaway wasn’t allowed the distance. The stormy weather didn’t make it easier. When approaching Hellevoetsluis it was all about positioning. “We knew it would happen at Hellevoetsluis. We were with three guys on the left and Fabian was up front. Then the peloton swerved to the left. Rast went through the dirt and lost some spokes, Didier crashed and I had to brake hard, losing 100 positions. That was about a kilometre before the left-hand turn where things were torn apart. That was a bad moment.”

Mollema hoped to be having a good day on Monday when the race was riding a mini Flèche Wallonne, a race that suits him better. “We’ll have to ride in front with our team which might make it more relaxed for us. [Flèche Wallonne] it’s always one of the most nervous races on that course. Today the roads were wide but tomorrow that’ll be different. I hope to be among the first to be riding up the Mur de Huy. That’s important. It’s a chance to get a good stage result and doing a good job for the GC.” (Brecht Decaluwé)

Bauke Mollema (Trek Factory Racing)
Bauke Mollema lost time on Sunday while Trek teammate Fabian Cancellara took over the race lead.

Crash catches Giant-Alpecin's Degenkolb out, Dumoulin moves up to third overall

One of the many crashes that occurred during the Tour's wet and windy stage on Sunday knocked Giant-Alpecin's John Degenkolb from contesting the sprint, which Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) won ahead of Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo).

"It's sad that I missed that chance today," Degenkolb said. "I was behind a crash and then too far back when the split happened so I missed the first group due to that. We have to look ahead and I am actually looking forward to the days to come, as we will have new opportunities there."

It was not all bad news for the Dutch team, however, as Tom Dumoulin and Warren Barguil both finished the stage inside the top 10, with Dumoulin jumping to third overall behind Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) and Tony Martin (Etixx-QuickStep). 

"I only enjoyed the first 20km today, with all the amazing crowds in the Netherlands," Dumoulin said. "After that, the Tour started with all its chaos and stress. I fought for my position all day, which went quite well as the split took place behind me. That was not just luck.

I can leave the Netherlands with my head held high, as I performed well yesterday," Dumoulin said. "Now I have the white jersey, which feels good and is nice, definitely more special than just wearing it. I hope I can go for yellow now, I will fight and will do my best."

Tom Dumoulin gets the best young rider jersey outright today
Giant-Alpecin's Tom Dumoulin in the white jersey of the Tour's best young rider.

Cancellara says there are two Hour Records: Wiggins and Merckx

During the post-race press conference of stage 2 in Neeltje Jans, Netherlands, on Sunday evening, new race leader Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) was asked about the UCI World Hour Record which, is now held by Bradley Wiggins. Cancellara was said to have plans to take on the record but eventually stepped back. The 34-year-old Swiss rider said he didn’t want to go in depth while at the Tour de France.

“In the end I started something but something wasn’t clear about rules," Cancellara said "I had other things on my mind. Suddenly a big cloud got created and after all this media cloud which I wasn’t looking for I lost my motivation. First I wasn’t agreeing with the rules. I’m for the future of cycling but this is a record in which you can compete with Merckx and other riders. Bike-rulewise you can be on the same level as them. In my opinion there are two records: there’s the new one from Bradley and still the old one from Merckx.” (Brecht Decaluwé)

Fabian Cancellara rides to third place Saturday in Utrecht.
Fabian Cancellara would be a prime candidate for a UC World Hour Record attempt.

 

 

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