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Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var stage 1: Bauke Mollema soars to victory

Dutch rider scores 15th pro win from a nearly-30-strong field on steep slopes during the first day of racing.

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Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) won the opening stage of the 2021 Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var, in Gourdon.

The Dutch rider distanced himself from Greg Van Avermaet (AG2R-Citroën) and Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ) in the final uphill meters of the mountaintop finish, which the peloton had twice climbed before the final ascent.

“I knew I had to go early. I had the power, and I didn’t want to be boxed in and lose positions,” he said. “The team did a great job keeping me in front and they did a great lead-out. I just went with 300-350 meters. It was a long sprint, but I made it, so super nice.”

Springing an attack in the final 200m of the 14km ascent, the threesome separated themselves from a select bunch by just one second, with Michael Woods (Israel Start-Up Nation) and Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) coming across the line as the best of the rest, including Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation), Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) and Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic).

The opening 186.8km stage started in Biot and finished in the village of Gourdon, part of the Préalpes d’Azur national park. Throughout the day, Dylan Van Baarle and Rohan Dennis (both Ineos Grenadiers) did the majority of work to bring four escapees back to the fold.

AG2R-Citroën and Trek-Segafredo contributed to the chase into the third ascent of the summit finish in Gourdon. Groupama-FDJ tried to establish position on the front as well.

A group of 28 took the final climb, and it wasn’t until Mollema’s attack outside of 300m to go that any separation looked like it would stick.

Stage 2 is a looping circuit in Fayence that will cover 168.9km, with the 6km category 2 Col de Mons coming midway in the day.

https://twitter.com/TrekSegafredo/status/1362782525261713408

2021 Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var stage 1 results

1. Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo)
2. Greg Van Avermaet (AG2R-Citroën), at :02
3. Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ), at s.t.
4. Michael Woods (Israel Start-Up Nation), at :03
5. Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo), at s.t.
6. Dorian Godon (AG2R Citroën), at s.t.
7. Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ), at s.t.
8. Jesus Herrada (Cofidis), at s.t.
9. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), at s.t.
10. David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ), at :06

2021 Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var general classification

1. Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo)
2. Greg Van Avermaet (AG2R-Citroën), at :02
3. Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ), at s.t.