Danish Time Trial Champion Lars Bak Signs with Team Columbia-HTC
It's fair to say new Team Columbia-HTC rider Lars Bak of Denmark has already taken some major successes of his own.
It's fair to say new Team Columbia-HTC rider Lars Bak of Denmark has already taken some major successes of his own. As Bak puts it, "One thing I've always liked about Columbia-HTC is you can see everybody gets a chance to win. Signing with Columbia-HTC was one opportunity I just didn't want to let go by."
In his early days as a pro, Bak clinched the prestigious Tour de L'Avenir stage race, and since then he's earned Danish National Time Trial Champion three times in a row. "The best of the three victories was in 2009," Bak says. "I didn't know until 100 metres from the line that I had won. It was a very close, dramatic race, pure suffering, and then at the end I could start celebrating even before I crossed the line."
For Lars Bak, whose last name curiously means "reverse" in Danish, the key to good time trialing is "not to panic early on and overcook it. If you keep a steady, strong pace, and you don't go in too deep, then you're on the right track. I've got the right kind of motor for it, too: I can't accelerate fast, so don't ask me to win a sprint. I'm more a diesel engine, and once I get going I can keep going steady for miles and miles."
But Bak's talents aren't limited to time-trialing. He's won top Classics like Paris-Bourges, and in 2009's Eneco Tour he pulled away in spectacular style from a day-long break to win the race's toughest stage. True to his word, he didn't want to wait for a sprint. "Lars is the kind of rider who won't win 10 races a year, but he's always there in the mix," comments Columbia-HTC's Danish sports director, Brian Holm. "Lars is a great team player. He really gets stuck into helping his teammates if he feels they've a better chance to win, and that's something we appreciate a lot in our team."