The Tour de France road book is not just the logistics and information bible, it is where dreams and plans are formed.
While they rest in their hotel rooms and drive the long transfers in the team buses, the drivers leaf through the heavy book page by page, turning blindly until they reach a page that ignites an idea. This is the day I will attack, they spiritually swear
>>> Bauke Mollema ends the hectic Tour de France 2021 stage 14 with a strong solo victory
For Bauke Mollema, the 14th stage of this year’s Tour de France was the one he lapped at the very back of the start.
“When I looked at the road book at the beginning of the race, I knew that this stage was a great opportunity for the outlier and for a driver like me,” he said in Quillan.
“It was up and down all day and maybe it was better for me that the goal was not uphill but downhill.
“A few days ago I checked the route on Google Maps, the last 50 or 60 km, so I knew what to expect. I knew it was a tricky descent so I knew I was waiting for the right moment would to attack. “
After a hectic opening of two hours, Mollema made it into a select group of outliers. They were together until about 40 km from the finish when Mollema felt his moment. He attacked.
“I felt good today and was confident that I could do a long solo to the finish,” added the 34-year-old.
“At some point I looked back and saw no one sitting on my bike and then I just went off.
“I immediately had a gap and knew that I could enlarge it.”
Mollema is one of the peloton’s strongest attackers. If it leaves, it will be difficult to catch again.
“I know that most of my victories have been solo rides,” he continued. “You have to know the right moment to attack, it’s not enough just to look.
“A lot of the guys didn’t expect an attack where I did one. Once I have three or four seconds it’s pretty hard to close me I think.
“I also think the group was perfect for me. We worked well in the beginning, but later on some people started saving some energy and they didn’t pull because [Guillaume] Martin was inside. That’s why I attacked very early. “
It’s been four years since Mollema celebrated his first and so far only win on the French Grand Tour and thought he was admitting that his first win was “even more special” [because] It was my first, “this victory on the edge of the largest mountains in the Pyrenees” is super nice, especially after a long solo. “
He added: “I’m not a driver who wins five or ten races a year so every win is special to me, especially in the Tour.”