Early sprint and team strength key to Mollema's opening victory at Tour du Var

GOURDON FRANCE FEBRUARY 19 Podium Bauke Mollema of Netherlands and Team Trek Segafredo Yellow Leader Jersey celebrate during the 53rd Tour Des Alpes Maritimes Et Du Var Stage 1 a 1868km stage from Biot to Gourdon 698m letour0683 on February 19 2021 in Gourdon France Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images
Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) in yellow after stage 1 of the Tour des Alpes-Maritimes et du Var in Groudon (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

After his victory on the opening stage of the Tour des Alpes-Maritimes et du Var on Friday, Trek-Segafredo leader Bauke Mollema told of just how he managed to beat out more explosive finishers such as AG2R Citroën's Greg Van Avermaet and Groupama-FDJ's Valentin Madouas on the six per cent rise to the line in Gourdon.

The stage took in three climbs up to the village in the Préalpes d'Azur natural park – not a high or steep mountain, but one which shook up the general classification on day one of three. With a peloton of 28 following closely after the Dutchman, it won't be the most selective climb of the race, but Mollema knew what he had to do to come out on top – go early.

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