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HTC-Columbia has strong Bak up plan

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Lars Bak (HTC-Columbia) came in third.

Lars Bak (HTC-Columbia) came in third. (Image credit: Frank Rud Jensen)
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Lars Bak (HTC - Columbia)

Lars Bak (HTC - Columbia) (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/
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Lars Bak (HTC - Columbia) leads the chase.

Lars Bak (HTC - Columbia) leads the chase. (Image credit:

After taking second in yesterday's Danish national championship road race, Lars Ytting Bak says he's disappointed but understanding of his status as HTC-Columbia's back up rider for the Tour de France.

The former Saxo Bank rider beat the likes of former teammates Chris Anker Sørensen, Matti Breschel and Frank Høj in the 199km race but will be sitting on the sidelines when La Grande Boucle starts in Rotterdam this weekend - unless mitigating circumstances demand a call up for the Dane.

"I've been told that I'm first reserve if someone other than Cavendish becomes injured or ill. I'd love to ride [the Tour]," Bak told after the national title race.

"I am obviously very disappointed not to ride the Tour. I have been told that I was good enough but I cannot do something," Bak added, stressing that regardless of missing the Tour he's enjoying his time at HTC-Columbia.

While being superflous to the team's needs in France, Bak knows why he wasn't taken as part of Mark Cavendish's leadout train as the British sprinter chases more stage wins after his incredible tally of six in last year's edition.

He's also remaining focused on the second half of the season, a time during which he believes he can shine, particularly in the Australian sunshine.

"Unfortunately I have only 14 days racing on my calendar this year. I hope to be a reserve for the Vuelta however, and will also be happy to ride the world championships in Melbourne," he explained.