Laurens 10 Dam recalls the 2009 Tour de France and why riders really should by no means give up

Laurens ten Dam riding a skateboard up the side of a road

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Laurens 10 Dam

Procycling magazine’s 12 times of Christmas revisits some of the highlights from our contributors in the journal more than the past year. As a pro, Laurens raced 18 grand excursions. He remembers again to the 2009 Tour de France, and a pretty essential lesson he learned about why you should under no circumstances give up.

Laurens ten Dam is a columnist for Procycling. This report was taken from Procycling magazine situation 269 June 2020.

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The Tour de France had been a disaster for group Rabobank in 2009. Following profitable the Giro d’Italia in Might, my team chief Dennis Menchov ran out of fuel speedily. His GC hopes have been already buried when he obtained caught in the prologue by the stage’s eventual winner Fabian Cancellara. Stage 1 carried out, extra than a single moment down. The preceding year’s inexperienced jersey, Oscar Freire, encountered a younger and unbeatable Mark Cavendish who would go on to win 6 levels that year. On top rated of that our tyres turned out to be useless in the rain, so seven out of nine riders were being packed in plaster. What begun as a Tour with large hopes to acquire the GC or several levels, turned out to be a nightmare for the massive finances team Rabobank was. Morale was reduced, in simple fact it has in no way been that reduced in my complete Tour de France career. 

Historically the final Friday in the Tour is the day of the very last probabilities. Saturday would be a massive showdown for the GC contenders and this unique year it was no change with the phase finishing up Mont Ventoux. Me and my teammates were all mindful that this phase would be our last chance to redeem ourselves to the Dutch general public and our sponsor. With the major of a 2nd group climb just 16 kilometers from the end in Aubenas, this phase was much too really hard for a sprinter. A group would go to the complete because the GC adult men would lay reduced and conserve their legs for Mont Ventoux. Just be in that group and you would fight for the victory. It was as easy as that. 

It turned out not to be that simple for me and my workforce-mates. A significant and sturdy group hit the road and we ended up 1 of the six teams who missed it. The race was more than. 

I’ll under no circumstances neglect Juan Antonio Flecha, his facial expression when he demanded I pull. In simple fact, he commanded the whole workforce to pull except our team leaders. So we began to trip tempo, a hopeless trigger 6 wounded riders began to pull powering a quite robust 20-guy team. I realized the peloton was laughing at the rear of my back. Those lousy men are remaining punished for being nowhere this Tour. 

But it was not our crew chief who commanded us to the front of the bunch. It was our delight. We preferred to demonstrate we had been still there. At one particular place, Flecha started to yell at us. “Faster, and go total as a result of the corners”. I went as fast as I dared and even faster. Afterwards I listened to tales from other riders that they were being terrified at the rear of us. What was going on there? I hardly ever rode so very long and so quickly at the front of the bunch. It was delight and anger which drove us that fast. We pulled total right up until the base of the previous climb with 16km to go the place we have been just 30 seconds powering the initially group. When I eventually permit go I nearly cried, we went that deep as a crew to combat for our final prospect. 

Not all tales have a delighted ending. Mark Cavendish flew up that previous hill in Auvergne. He survived a 14 kilometre-prolonged next group climb and received the sprint in front of Oscar. We were still left vacant-handed. 

That night time on the evening meal desk we emptied three bottles of French crimson. It was the initial time that Tour we laughed and experienced enjoyable alongside one another. We fought for the victory and could be proud of ourselves once more. 

And then the extremely hard transpired. Juan Manuel Garate, my buddy and workforce-mate, would go on to gain on Mont Ventoux – the phase that was particularly made to be received by a major title. Right after all that, we won the most lovely stage of that Tour. We topped Juan “el Legendario” that night! 

By no means give up. 

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