Bauke Mollema has signed a two-year extension with Trek-Segafredo, keeping him at the team until the end of 2020. Mollema has been with the team for four years after moving to the team from Belkin ahead of the 2015 season.
“I am very grateful for the confidence Trek-Segafredo has put in me,” Mollema said in a team press release. “I am looking forward to another two great years on this team. When I look at our riders, staff, and sponsors, I can only conclude that we have a great team and I am very happy and proud to be a part of it. In the next few years, I hope to continue getting stronger and also use my experience to push the rest of the team to a higher level.”
Mollema was brought into the Trek team as a Grand Tour contender and is their main GC rider following the retirement of Alberto Contador. He will be joined by Richie Porte next season with the BMC Racing rider set to move across to the team on a two-year contract, as well as up and coming climber Ivan Sosa.
Mollema has shown flashes of performance in Grand Tours with fourth at the 2011 Vuelta a Espana his best performance to date. In 2016, he went into the final week sitting in second place but saw his dream of a podium finish evaporate when he crashed on a wet descent on the penultimate mountain stage. He would eventually finish 11th.
This year the 31-year-old’s Grand Tour performances have been average. He finished 26th overall at the Tour de France following a crash, and had been targeting a good overall result at the Vuelta but lost a large chunk of time after suffering in the heat on stage 4. However, he made it into the breakaway the following day and was just pipped to the stage win by Simon Clarke (EF Education First-Drapac) in a three-way sprint.
“He is a pillar of the team as one of our respected leaders. He is a very strong guy, not only physically but also mentally,” said team manager Luca Guercilena. “He proved that once again in the Tour de France this last year, where he came at the start with great ambitions for the GC. When he crashed and fell out of that fight, he changed his tactics immediately and started racing very aggressively in his hunt for a stage win. Unfortunately, he didn’t succeed, but he has proven once again that he is a fighter.
"We saw him do it again in yesterday's stage 5 at the Vuelta. We are really happy that Bauke will stay with the team for two more years. Alongside Richie Porte, we will have two extremely strong climbers sharing opportunities to battle for the GC throughout the season. I am confident that this will turn out really successful for the team and I am looking forward to seeing these two out on the road next year.”