We can only imagine what it takes to get to the Tour de France, let alone complete all of the stages and finish at the front of the peloton. In a high pressure race things change quickly; it takes incredible determination and resilience to hold one’s place. And as we saw with Ted King, suffering doesn’t always get you to the Champs Elysees.
We want to pay tribute to Laurens ten Dam, who fought like a champion and true ‘King of the Mountain.’ He not only secured the KOM on one of the most difficult climbs, Mt. Ventoux, but also collected 284 more KOM’s along the course. He deserves kudos for holding a top ten ranking for most of the Tour, and ultimately finishing in a strong thirteenth place in Paris. By sharing his personal stories and activity uploads, he has given us all a glimpse inside the Tour and the suffering he endured over the course of the race. Read his final reflection from the finish line.
Laurens ten Dam Rider Journal: The last days of the Tour de France put an end to my aspirations to be in the top ten or even top five of the GC. The time trial wasn’t that bad. It was a tough course with hard climbs and I could finish without losing too much time. However I crashed and my back hurt during the rest of the tour. This shouldn’t be an excuse, but my body just didn’t function as it should have. To sum it up: during the next days I suffered like a pig!
Alpe d’Huez was a great experience with all the Dutch support. I wish I could have shown them a better result, but they supported us like crazy nonetheless. To all of you out there: you are awesome! Actually I was already on my limit going up Alpe d’Huez the first time, the second time was just too much and I hit a wall – it was all about damage control. Bauke fought like a true warrior and managed to hold on to his top six place, while I was fading during the next days as well.
All in all a 13th place in the Tour de France is a great result, but I know I can do more than that. I stayed with the world’s best in the Pyrenees and on Ventoux. It was the best climbing I have ever done, and it was a LOT of climbing as you can see on my STRAVA data.
Now, I am really happy to be in Paris – suffering like a pig is no longer an option!