Mollema said the deal was done before the Tour de France. “That, of course, gave me a lot of confidence and calm while I was preparing for such a big race. I’m glad I can stay here," he told telegraaf.nl.
Mollema has gone into the Tour’s first rest day in seventh place, only 44 seconds down on yellow jersey Chris Froome (Sky). He is the team’s captain, but that situation may change in the coming years. Alberto Contador is said to be on the verge of signing with the team.
If that happens, “my role would be something else,” Mollema said. “But that’s also fine.”
Rast and Irizar, both 36, are eager to continue. Rast will look to add to his tally of having competed in 44 monuments.
“For me personally the Classics campaign was disappointing, so I want to come back and be better next year. If you see that, for example, Mathew Hayman can win Roubaix, I think I can be good again and work for our leaders,” Rast said in a statement released by the team on Monday.
Irizar said that he jumped at the chance to continue. “Of course, I wanted to do this because I love cycling, it’s my passion. I can’t imagine riding for a different team anymore," he said.
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