Bauke Mollema wins in Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var: I knew I had to trust my own power
Feb 20 2021 03:03 am CET

Bauke Mollema wins in Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var: I knew I had to trust my own power
Bauke Mollema wins in Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var: I knew I had to trust my own power
Photo of Bauke Mollema (c)Fabio Toschi

Trek-Segafredo's Bauke Mollema has taken the victory of the first stage at the Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var.

The first stage of the French 2.1. race was 186.8 kilometres long and took the peloton from Biot to Gourdon. The Dutchman took advantage of his climbing abilities during the three ascents of the Col de Gourdon and on the final one he attacked and gave an extra effort to beat the climbers and the puncheurs, who were the actual favourites to take the win.

"It was a finish for fast and explosive riders, it was not a super, super hard climb, so I was expecting it would come down to the final 800m where it was a bit steeper again," said Mollema. "I did the recon, and I knew this climb very well since I live 50-60kms from here. I knew I had to go early because I have the power, and I didn’t want to be boxed in and lose positions. The team did a great job protecting me in front – great leadout – and I just went with 300-350m. It was a long sprint, but I made it. Yeah, super-nice."

"In the last kilometer, we were still there with Ellisonde, Brambilla, and Ciccone and I was in the perfect position. Quintana went pretty fast with 500m to go, and with 350 to go, I just knew I had to go and make a long sprint of it because guys like Van Avermaet and Madouas are more explosive than me. I knew I had to trust my own power and start the sprint early. I had a small gap, and in the last 100 meters, I was losing some speed on the steep section to the line, but luckily they didn’t take me back anymore."

The Dutchman also took the lead of the General Classification and he will aim to keep it. "There’s two hard stages coming up; it’s a super hard 3-day stage race. Sunday is really the queen stage, a real mountain stage," explained Mollema. "I am looking forward to these next two days. The feeling is good, and we are here with a strong team, and hopefully we can defend the jersey."
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