A reliable workhorse who isn't afraid to chase opportunities when they present themselves has earned Lars Bak a one-year contract extension with Lotto Belisol. The Dane has been an integral part of the sprint train for André Greipel over the past two seasons, while also picking up a solo stage win in the Giro d'Italia in 2012. His decision was based around the atmosphere in the team where he is happy to support the team's GC and sprint ambitions while also getting the freedom to chase a personal result.
Bak is currently riding the Tour de France where the team has already launched the 'Gorilla' Greipel to one stage win. With Jurgen Van Den Broeck out of the race with a knee injury, Bak's role will now circle entirely around picking up more stage victories via the German road champion. The team will also attempt to reduce the seemingly insurmountable lead that Peter Sagan holds in the green jersey competition.
"I'm very glad to continue working with all people of this team. From day one I felt very welcome. The team direction has confidence in me, they have showed that. I didn't have the best start because of my injury last year but they stayed calm and gave me the time to recover, this year as well. The team believes in me and that's nice," said Bak on his team site.
Looking forward into next season Bak says he'll aim firstly at a return to the spring classics before building once again for the Tour. The 33-year-old broke his scaphoid in January which interrupted his spring build-up but has proven he has what it takes to ride amongst the best. His best result during a cobbled campaign was at the 2011 edition of Paris-Roubaix - won by Johan Vansummeren - where he finished in fifth.
"That I can take my own chance next to helping the team has played a role in my decision to stay with Lotto Belisol as well. I have my place here and am happy with my role. I can have a go of my own and am also happy to assist for example Jurgen Van Den Broeck and André Greipel. On top of that there's always a good atmosphere here and I'm proud to be part of this team and the successes of Greipel here in the Tour. It's always an honour to ride the Tour. Next year I'll aim for the spring classics again and I want to ride another Tour de France. This year I'd like to win a race and close the season with it successfully," he added.
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