Mollema has blossomed into a GC contenteder in major stage races this year. Cor Vos photo.

Back-to-back Podiums for Rabo at Vuelta

27 augusztus 2011

Dutch rider Bauke Mollema gave Rabobank its second podium performance in as many days at the Vuelta a España, finishing third on the mountainous 8th stage from Talavera de la Reina to San Lorenzo de El Escorial. The Dutchman’s ride followed Spaniard Oscar Freire’s sprint to third place in Friday’s Stage 7.

Mollema, a 24-year-old who is proving to be a major stage race talent with results like his fifth place overall at this year's Tour of Switzerland, powered up the grueling climbs of Saturday’s stage, some of which hit grades surpassing 20 percent, on his Giant TCR Advanced SL. The 177.3km route featured the Category 1 Mijares Pass climb, plus two Category 2 climbs and the final uphill drag to the finish in San Lorenzo de El Escorial. Mollema kept the day’s winner, Spaniard Joaquin Rodriguez, in sight, finishing 9 seconds down.

Mollema now sits eighth overall in the General Classification of the three-week Tour of Spain. Riders will face another mountain test on Sunday’s Stage 9, which finishes atop the Covatilla summit, climbing an average of 7.4 percent over the final 10km.