PARIS (AFP) — Dutchman Bauke Mollema will ride for Trek Factory Racing next season after signing a two-year deal, the American team announced on Tuesday.
The 27-year-old finished 10th at the Tour de France last month after taking sixth in 2013, both times riding for Dutch outfit Belkin. He also finished fourth at the 2011 Vuelta a Espana.
“I feel like this team will give me the space to grow as a rider. A new environment and new faces will be good for me,” said Mollema.
He has enjoyed one of his best seasons to date, finishing third at the Tour de Suisse and the Tour of Norway, fourth at La Fleche Wallonne, and seventh at the Amstel Gold Race. Mollema also placed sixth at the Vuelta a Andalucía.
“Bauke has shown a very consistent development as a GC rider, both in one week races like the Tour de Suisse and Grand Tours,” said Trek’s general manager Luca Guercilena.
“He is also a high potential rider for the hilly classics, as he has shown last weekend by taking second place in the Clasica San Sebastian.”
Belkin is losing its title sponsor at the end of this year and had already seen another star name, Lars Boom, who won the fifth stage of the Tour, announce he will move to Astana. The team will, however, be backed by the Dutch national lottery.