Mollema descends the Pramartino, the final mountain of Stage 17, toward the finish in Pinerolo, Italy. Cor Vos photo.

Mollema Podiums as Tour Enters Alps

20 július 2011

As the 2011 Tour de France entered the Alps on Wednesday, Rabobank rider Bauke Mollema was at the front of the action, fighting his way to a podium finish in the Italian town of Pinerolo. Mollema joined a breakaway group that formed 60km into the 191.5km stage, and then powered the new 2012 Giant TCR Advanced SL to second place in Pinerolo.

Mollema, a 24-year-old Dutchman, came close to giving Rabobank its second stage win of the Tour following Spaniard Luis León Sánchez’s Stage 9 win. Mollema joined a 14-man break that separated itself from the field and built a gap through the day’s five categorized climbs, including the Cat 1 Sestriere that came 67km from the finish.

On the final climb of the day, the Cat. 2 Pramartino, several attacks occurred and Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen eventually went clear. Mollema led the chase, crossing the line second behind Boasson Hagen. It was the young Dutch rider's best finish yet at the Tour de France.

The 2011 Tour continues with two difficult mountain stages in the Alps Thursday and Friday, followed by a decisive time trial on Saturday and the final stage into Paris on Sunday.