18 July 2013
There are two guys in this year’s Tour de France
that do not represent the average professional rider.
In fact, they could have been characters in a boy’s book.
These two Dutch riders from Team Belkin are doing very well
and in The Netherlands this has already led to “Mollemania”.
Most of the Dutch fans call the riders the duo “Bau & Lau”.
Bauke Mollema is 6th in the general classification at the moment.
He did not start to ride races at a young age, but was discovered
because he was riding to school every day with an incredible pace.
His teammate Lars Boom still vividly remembers that at the beginning
of his career, Bauke Mollema thought that he could eat a whole bowl
of pasta that was standing on the dining table, where in fact
the whole Rabobank team had to share three bowls.
At this time, Bauke was also still living in a student house
and many of his teammates considered this to be very peculiar.
Most riders are very concerned about their weight and the power
in their legs, but Bauke listens to his body and follows his intuition.
Nothing seems to have an impact on him, but he is not careless either.
He can sleep everywhere and at every given moment.
It is not uncommon for him at all to take a nap in the bus
before or after the start of a race. No stress for Bauke!
His teammates even lost him at an airport once:
Bauke had decided to take a nap under one of the seats.
On a rest day, Bauke is mostly the last one who gets out of bed.
He prefers to sleep in and likes to stay up quite late at night.
In the Tour, he mostly does not sleep before half past eleven.
That is also why he has already finished quite a lot of books.
Bauke loves to read: cycling books or thrillers, he devours books.
Within the first seven days of the Tour, he finished three books.
Laurens ten Dam, the number 10 in the general classification right now,
also likes to read, but he prefers to go to bed early and sleeps alone.
Unlike Bauke, Laurens likes to get up early in the morning.
He loves to camp and barbecue and is a proud owner
of a Chevy from 1989 and a Vespa from 1969.
He has a beard, which is quite unusual for a cyclist.
He also refuses to do an altitude training before a grand tour.
Bauke Mollema and Laurens ten Dam create their own adventures.
They resemble the remarkable stories about heroes from the past.
Bauke wears his cycling cap just like riders from the old days.
The brim of his cap is mostly flipped upward instead of downward.
Laurens looks more like a rock ‘n’ roll star than a cyclist.
Both riders follow their own path and do not care about any hype.
We see their unique personalities and love and passion for the bike,
we hear their down-to-earth and cool-headed reflections after the race,
and we read their adventurous stories like a boy’s book.