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Bauke Mollema battles illness and his rivals in the first ten days
Belkin still looking for a new sponsor
Bauke Mollema has reached an agreement with Trek Factory Racing, according to a report in De Telegraaf. The Dutch rider who currently sits tenth in the overall at the Tour de France, is said to have signed a two-year deal.
According to the De Telegraaf Trek manager Luca Guercilena was looking for a new GC-rider. Both Andy and Fränk Schleck are at the end of their contracts this season, as is the 37-year-old Haimar Zubeldia. Guercilena reportedly looked at Dauphiné-winner Andrew Talansky and at the 27-year-old Mollema. Talansky signed a new deal with Garmin-Sharp for 2015 and 2016 leaving Mollema. The Dutchman's management would not comment on the story in the Telegraaf today.
Mollema turned pro with Rabobank in 2008. He has won stages in the Vuelta, Tour de Suisse and Tour de Pologne, In 2011 he finished fourth in the Vuelta and last year he was sixth in the overall at the Tour de France.
Trek already has the Dutch brothers Danny and Boy van Poppel in the team and recently extended the contract with Giacomo Nizzolo. Jens Voigt and Danilo Hondo are both retiring at the end of the year.
Belkin is still looking for a new sponsor after the American company used a clause in the contract not to sponsor the team in 2015 as was agreed initially. General manager Richard Plugge is talking to several companies at the moment but has no deal.
Out of the 30 riders that currently ride with Belkin, 23 riders have a contract that ends this year. All of these contracts were signed when Rabobank was the sponsor of the team. The Dutch bank still pays for the salaries of these riders under the terms agreed when they were signed.
Sep Vanmarcke and Moreno Hofland signed new agreements this Spring for 2015 and 2016. New signings Nick van der Lijke, Jonathan Hivert and Barry Markus plus Laurens ten Dam, Paul Martens and Tom Leezer also have a contract for 2015.