Bauke Mollema had to be feeling down after the Tour. He came out of the second rest day in second place overall, 1min 47sec behind Chris Froome, and looking strong for a podium position. But a disaster in the Alps seen him drop right out of the top 10 to 11th by Paris, 13min 13sec behind the Sky winner. You wouldn’t blame him if his confidence was shot and he fancied a little break from racing.
But that would have been the easy approach. Within six days of Paris, Mollema along with a host of other Tour riders, were back on their bikes in Spain for the Classica San Sebastian, and rather than plod his way around the race or worry about risking a move only to blow up again, Mollema was aggressive and put in the decisive move on the final climb to rid himself of Tony Gallopin, Alejandro Valverde and Joaqium Rodriguez to win solo by 17sec over that group, in that order.
The only other major race of the week came the following day at the Ride London classic were a late solo move from a breakaway group by Geraint Thomas was reeled in by the main bunch in time for Tom Boonen to win the gallop ahead of Mark Renshaw and Michael Matthews.
Early next week many of the riders will make their way south to Rio in a bid for Olympic glory. The road course favours the climbing type who can also shine in a one day race…so Alejandro Valverde, while the time-trial is on a long rolling route that should suit a specialist who can also climb to a decent level…so Tom Dumoulin. The woman’s race will also be hotly contested and you have to fancy reigning world champion Lizzie Armistead for at least the road race. I’ll check back next week on how that all came together.
Rider of the week:
Bauke Mollema of course. See above.