Team Belkin uses Tour de Suisse as Tour de France dress rehearsal

The Tour de Suisse, from June 14 to 22, will be the last serious test in the run-up to the Tour de France for several Belkin Pro Cycling Team riders. Bauke Mollema hopes to put the finishing touches on his preparation in Switzerland after an altitude training camp in Sierra Nevada.

"The training went very well," said Mollema. "We had a good camp. After a few days to acclimatise, we did some long workouts. I once spent seven hours on the bike. During the final week, we focused on intensity and explosiveness with some interval training. My legs felt better every day. Last year, I had my first altitude training camp. That worked well for me. Hopefully, I can benefit from it again."

Mollema has fond memories of the Tour de Suisse. Last year, he finished second and won the tough mountain stage to Crans Montana. "It's a nice race," said the Dutchman. "I also finished fifth in 2011. I want to improve towards the Tour the France in Switzerland. Hopefully, I can achieve some good results along the way."

Belkin Director Sportif Nico Verhoeven said, "The Tour de Suisse is a good preparation toward the Tour, but it's too important to see as a training race. Bauke and Laurens ten Dam will be our leaders. The team will assist them as much as possible. Hopefully, we can match Mollema's result from last year. After his second place, a podium finish is a nice goal this time. However, if we race well, we could also be satisfied with a fifth place looking towards to the Tour."

Team Belkin for Tour de Suisse: Stef Clement, Laurens ten Dam, Marc Goos, Steven Kruijswijk, Tom Leezer, Bauke Mollema, Sep Vanmarcke and Maarten Wynants.

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