Jan Bakelants is still fighting for a chance to ride the Tour de France. Despite winning the stage to Ajaccio and wearing the yellow jersey for two days, he knows that he faces very tough competition for a spot on the Omega Pharma-QuickStep squad because it will be built around helping Mark Cavendish in the sprints and Michal Kwiatkowski for the general classification.
“I want certainty about the Tour as quickly as possible: yes or no,” he told Nieuwsblad.be, but without making direct demands for a place.
The Belgian rider was one of the revelations of the 2013 Tour de France while riding for Radioshack and impressed with his stage victory. However he made little impact in the Ardennes Classics this year after joining OPQS. He was in the break of the day in Wednesday’s fourth stage of the Criterium Dauphine, but he finished a disappointed seventh. "A victory would have helped me," he admitted.
"There are two clearly defined goals with the team and maybe I do not fit in there," Bakelants admitted to Sporza.be "I am willing to work for the team, but also want a few chances to play my own cards. I don’t think that conflicts with the plans of the team."
He admitted to Nieuwsblad that "If I'm not there, I will be very disappointed." However, "If the answer is yes, then I have another three weeks after the Dauphine to fine tune my condition."
He is realistic, though. "I have to keep in mind that there is a real chance that I won’t be there."