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Mollema fought his way to second place on the La Covallita climb, taking over the red leader's jersey by one second. Cor Vos photo.

Mollema Takes Over Vuelta Lead!

28 agosto 2011

Rabobank rider Bauke Mollema made a big move Sunday on the toughest mountaintop finish seen so far in this year’s Vuelta a España, finishing second and taking over the race lead at the summit of La Covallita. Mollema put in a gutsy ride on his Giant TCR Advanced SL, powering up the final 7km climb to finish right behind the day’s winner, Irishman Daniel Martin. The effort allowed Mollema to take over the red leader’s jersey from Spaniard Joaquin Rodriguez.

Mollema has climbed steadily through the ranks in the three-week Tour of Spain. His second-place finish in Sunday’s 179.5km Stage 9 was his second consecutive podium performance; he finished third on Saturday.

The 24-year-old Dutch rider is having a breakout season, showing terrific form in some of the world’s toughest stage races. He also finished fifth overall at the Tour of Switzerland earlier this season.

The August 20-September 11 Tour of Spain continues on Monday with a 40km individual time trial in Salamanca.