Bauke Mollema will bring a 7-year stint as a Belkin rider to an end on Sunday when he lines up at Il Lombardia. Having shown good condition in the Worlds road race, the Dutchman will have full team support in his attempt to bag a final big result for the Dutch team.
Bauke Mollema will ride his last race for the Belkin Pro Cycling TEAM on Sunday. The Dutchman, who leaves for Trek Factory Racing next season, will lead the team in the Giro di Lombardia. He hopes to go out with a bang.
“The last race of a season is always special,” said Mollema. “You know you have to give everything one more time and that afterwards, you can take it easy for a while. This time it’s extra special. A spell of seven years with the team will end. Now, I’ll be saying good-bye to the riders and the staff.”
Mollema trained in Limburg in the build-up to the World Championships. After his 18th place in Ponferrada, he also hopes to benefit from his efforts in Il Lombardia.
“The Tour of Lombardy is a nice race and I’m looking forward to going all-out one more time. I trained well for the Worlds and because Lombardy is only a week later, I think it’s a nice combination.
“My shape was good during the road race. On the final climb, I was amongst the front-runners. Unfortunately, the result was slightly less than I’d hoped.”
Sports Director Merijn Zeeman is confident that the team will deliver.
“We noticed that the end of the season is closing in,” said Zeeman. “We have several injured riders and can see that others are getting tired. For the Tour of Lombardy, however, they don’t need to recharge forcefully because it’s great and wonderful race where they really want to get a result. That’s instinct.
“Bauke is looking strong. He worked hard to be ready, and men like Steven Kruijswijk, Lars Petter Nordhaug and Wilco Kelderman should be able to assist him deep into the final. As a team, we’ll help Bauke as much as possible so that he has the chance to bag a result for us one more time.
“The race is gruelling. It all comes down to the final hour, and that’s what Bauke likes. He did well in Lombardy in the past [7th in 2012 and twelfth in 2010, ed.]. We expect a lot.”
Stef Clement, Laurens ten Dam, Wilco Kelderman, Martijn Keizer, Steven Kruijswijk, Bauke Mollema, Lars Petter Nordhaug and David Tanner.
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