Tour de France rider Bauke Mollema has confirmed to Cyclingnews that he is close to re-signing with Trek-Segafredo. The 29-year-old is currently racing at the Criterium du Dauphine, where he is targeting a top-five finish ahead of the Tour de France in July.
“We’re close, for sure,” he told Cyclingnews when asked about the current state of negotiations with Trek.
“I’m happy here, and it feels like home. We have a great atmosphere, and we have great material and sponsors. There’s no reason for me to change.”
Mollema signed for Trek at the start of 2015 and enjoyed a successful season, finishing seventh in the Tour de France, second in Tirreno-Adriatico and winning the Tour of Alberta. This season he has remained consistent with top-ten finishes in Romandie, Tirreno, Ruta del Sol and Liege-Bastogne-Liege.
Like many, he is using the Dauphine as his final warm-up race before the Tour de France, where he will once again lead the line for the American team.
“So far the race has gone well. I’m on schedule, and my legs have felt good,” he added.
“Before [joining Trek] I always did the Tour de Suisse but last year I changed to here. I like this more in terms of preparation for the Tour because you still have more time after the race before the Tour starts so you can do some more good training. Maybe with the Tour de Suisse so close to the Tour it’s harder.”
Mollema is also racing injury free. During last year’s Dauphine he struggled with a back problem and only found his best form during the Tour. He’s at the week-long stage race with ambitions of finishing inside the top-five and currently sits 10th, 48 seconds off Alberto Contador’s race lead.
“Now I’m way better than I was last year, and that’s a good thing. I’m on schedule. If I look at the numbers I’m doing here this week then I’m much better than where I was last year. My preparation is more relaxed this year.
“We have to see how this week goes. There are a lot of GC guys here who will do the Tour so it would be nice to finish top five here. The legs are good, and I’m in form.”
As the rumours go, Contador is set to join Trek at the end of the season. Cyclingnews understands, however, that there are up to four options from which the Spaniard can choose.
“I know the rumours, but there were other rumours at the start of the season,” Mollema said.
When asked if he would roll out the red carpet and welcome Contador to the Trek team for 2017, the Dutchman smiled, before adding: “We just need to wait for the team to announce the new riders, and that will probably take a few months. I’m happy, but it’s good to have more GC guys who can do results in other Grand Tours. I don’t know if he’ll come, I’ve not heard anything.”
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