Mollema to return to Tour of Alberta

Trek-Segafredo rider looks to defend 2015 success

While the likes of Chris Froome, Nairo Quintana and Tejay van Garderen will ride the Vuelta a Espana as their second grand tour of the season, Bauke Mollema (Trek Segafredo) has opted for a different race programme and will return to the Tour of Alberta before riding the Grand Prix Cycliste Quebec and Montreal in early September.

Mollema will then ride a series of one-day races in Europe before targeting Il Lombardia on October 1. He is expected to end his 2016 at the Japan Cup, defending his 2015 victory in the end of season race.

The USA's Peter Stetina is expected to follow a similar programme of racing alongside his Trek Segafredo teammate, while Ryder Hesjedal is set to ride the Canadian WorldTour races as he marks the end of his professional career.

Mollema finished 11th at the Tour de France but was lying second behind Froome until a crash on stage 19 to Gervais Mont Blanc cost him dearly. He bounced back to win the Clasica San Sebastian the weekend after the Tour de France and then finished 17th in the Olympic road race in Rio.

The Dutchman has recently taken some time off from racing but is back training for his trip to Canada. He will ride his eponymous Bauke Mollema Tocht sportif even on August 28 near his home in Groningen, before travelling to Canada.

The Tour of Alberta starts on September 1 and ends in Edmonton after five days of racing. Mollema beat Adam Yates (Orica-Bike Exchange) and Tom-Jelte-Slagter (Cannondale) in the 2015 edition of the Canadian stage race.

Mollema is expected to follow an Italian programme on his return to Europe, riding the Giro dell'Emilia and the GP Beghelli on September 24 and 25. The Giro dell'Emilia ends on the tough climb above Bologna, making it suited to Mollema aggressive climbing style.

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