Zege in Zwitserland geeft Bauke Mollema veel vertrouwen

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Bauke Mollema

‘Ook in Frankrijk maar op het podium, anders herkent Julien me niet’

ZWITSERLAND – De beste tijdrit ooit, etappewinst, een keer tweede en tweede in het eindklassement. Tijdens de Ronde van Zwitserland vierde wielrenner Bauke Mollema een paar mooie successen en won eindelijk een belangrijke etappe. Zijn eerste en de opluchting was dan ook groot: "Vijfde plaatsen, derde plekken en zelfs een tweede plaats. Het is allemaal mooi, maar uiteindelijk wil je ook eens eerste worden. Een paar zat ik er zo dichtbij en dat het dan nu echt gebeurde geeft een heerlijk gevoel en ik put er veel vertrouwen uit."

Bauke Mollema is tevreden en zit lekker in zijn vel. De Ronde van Zwitserland zit er op en met uur ‘U’ in verschiet heeft hij zijn goede vorm bevestigd gezien. “De voorbereiding was al goed. We hebben een hoogtestage gehad in het zuiden van Spanje ruim 2 kilometer de bergen in. Heb ik lekker kunnen trainen. Mijn vriendin Jane en dochter Julien zaten het grootste deel tijdens deze periode in een appartement naast ons hotel. Want drie weken zonder hen is toch wel lang. Overdag trainde ik en ’s avonds en ’s nachts sliep ik bij hen in het appartement.”

Bauke had het goed geregeld met de belangrijkste weken in het vooruitzicht. En nog vele weken zonder vrouw en kind staan voor de boeg. Het is juni. De maand waarin de wedstrijd der wedstrijden van start gaat. Op de 29e om precies te zijn en plaats van handeling is Porto-Vecchio op het Franse Eilandje Corsica, in de Middellandse Zee. De vlakke etappe over 212 kilometer gaat dan naar Bastia. Deze honderdste Tour de France is een mooi moment voor Mollema om te vlammen. “Het is altijd een mooi moment om te vlammen.”
De voormalig Zuidhorner is gebrand, maar niet over-gefocust. Noem het maar nuchter, een begrip dat zo ongeveer uitgevonden lijkt om de wielrenner te omschrijven. “Vooraf had ik de hoop de Ronde van Zwitserland beter te verlaten dan dat ik er was gekomen.” Lachend; “ik geloof wel dat dit doel gehaald is.” De kopman van Team Blanco zag onlangs ook nog een deal met een nieuwe sponsor tot stand komen. Tot opluchting van de sporters slaagde de leiding van de voormalige Robobankploeg er in een nieuwe geldschieter te strikken. Belik is de naam, een Amerikaanse firma dat talloze accessoires voor computers en tablets produceert en waarvan het hoofdkantoor gevestigd is in San Francisco. De opluchting werd in de loop van vorige week toch weer getemperd: “In de pers verscheen het bericht dat alles in kannen en kruiken zou zijn, maar wij hebben van de ploegleiding begrepen dat dit voorbarig is. Mocht het wel rond komen is dat natuurlijk hartstikke fijn maar dat zal dan één dezer dagen wel duidelijk worden. Het ziet er wel hoopvol uit.” Maar zelfs als de deal rond is, is de wielerploeg nog niet helemaal uit de zorgen. Er wordt nog gezocht naar een co-sponsor, omdat de Amerikanen het bedrag dat de Rabobank ter beschikking stelde, naar verluidt zo’n 13 miljoen euro, niet op tafel wenst te leggen.

Desalniettemin is Mollema ‘getemperd’ opgelucht en beginnen de Tour-kriebels langzaam maar zeker op te komen. “Eigenlijk lag mijn focus vanaf Luik-Bastenaken-Luik eind april al volledig op de Tour. Tot nu toe is mijn voorbereiding prima verlopen en kijk ik er echt naar uit. Ik hoop dat ik de nare smaak van vorig jaar een beetje kan uitwissen, want dat was een ronde om snel te vergeten! Dat is me ook aardig gelukt. Met die wedstrijd hou ik me niet meer mee bezig.”

Over de doelen is weinig onduidelijkheid. "Ik ben kopman en misschien dat Geesink daar later nog bij komt, dat ligt aan zijn fysieke gestel. Ik wil net als vorig jaar een goed klassement rijden.

Dat is het aller belangrijkste. Maar ik zal zeker ook naar een etappezege kijken. Misschien moet ik daarvoor wel eens een klein risico nemen, met het risico om wat tijd te verliezen, maar als ik me goed voel zal ik er zeker voor gaan. De voorbereiding is prima verlopen vooral het voorseizoen was heel goed. In april ging het iets minder dan gehoopt, mede door een griepje tijdens de ronde van het Baskenland. Afgelopen weken heb ik me dus voorbereid op de Tour bovenop de Sierra Nevada. Lekker getraind en mooi weer gehad."
De druk ligt op de schouders van de ranke klimmer. Helemaal na Zwitserland. Hij is bezig het roer in de hiërarchie van Robert Geesink over te nemen. Het deert hem niet en ervaart het niet als een last. "Als ze mij kopman maken dan ben ik kopman," is de nuchtere reactie. "Komt Geesink daarbij dan zijn er twee en zoeken we onze kracht in die rolverdeling." Die rolverdeling is overigens nog niet helemaal ingevuld: "De selectie voor de Tour is nog niet definitief bekend. Normaal gesproken gaan er 3 tot4 renners mee om het zware werk op te knappen, vooral in de eerste week. Daarnaast gaan er een paar klimmers mee die mij moeten bijstaan in de bergen, zoals Laurens ten Dam en Lars-Petter Nordhaug. Ik denk dat we veel kwaliteit in de ploeg hebben, dus voor iedereen zullen er ook kansen zijn om mee te gaan in ontsnappingen en zo hopelijk voor een dagsucces te zorgen."
Een Zuidhorner die het in een paar jaar tijd heeft geschopt van de Friesestraatweg tot de Tour de France. En in al die jaren onveranderd is gebleven. Mocht er ooit een boek geschreven gaan worden zou die de titel ‘Gewoon Bauke’ moeten krijgen. "Wanneer ik tevreden ben? Als ik het maximale uit mijn lichaam heb gehaald. Ik ken het parcours, er zijn dit jaar minder tijdritkilometers en meer aankomsten bergopwaarts. Dat is gunstig voor mij. Ik moet gewoon het podium weer halen, want Julien herkent papa niet in het peloton."

 

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