Gesink and Mollema commit to Rabobank for three more years
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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Gesink and Mollema commit to Rabobank for three more years

by VeloNation Press at 11:48 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Team finalises new terms with star GC riders

Bauke MollemaTop Dutch Grand Tour contenders Robert Gesink and Bauke Mollema have agreed new deals with their current Rabobank squad, inking contracts which will keep them as part of the setup for the next three seasons.

Both of the riders were originally contracted until the end of this year, but those agreements were torn up and the riders given new, longer – and presumably more lucrative - offers.

“I am thrilled to be staying with the team for longer. The atmosphere is good,” said Gesink, who is making a strong recovery from a fractured femur sustained last September. “You feel this every day at the training camp in Mojacar. I can develop further with this group of men.”

Gesink is just 25 years of age, yet has been a Rabobank rider since 2006. He joined the youth team at 19, then progressed to the professional wing of the team the following season. Since then, he has emerged as one of the most talented young riders in the sport, winning races such as the Tour of Oman, GP Montreal, Giro dell’Emilia, taking stages in the Tours of Belgium, Switzerland and California, and top six finishes in both the Tour de France and Vuelta a España.

Mollema is the same age and is heading into what will be his sixth season with the team. He had a breakthrough performance last September when he finished fourth overall and took the points classification in the Vuelta a España, and previously won the Tour de l’Avenir in 2007. The latter performance saw him move from the youth team to the pro squad, following the same path that Gesink took.

Saying that he feels ‘at home’ as a Rabobank rider, Mollema believes that the extension shows the relationship he has with the team management. “I’m really pleased that the mutual confidence is so great that we are going on together for at least another three years,” he said.

Rabobank technical director Erik Breukink believes that both riders show what can happen when a team works with young competitors and nurtures them. “A number of years ago we consciously chose to train and develop Dutch talent. Robert and Bauke have already demonstrated several times that they can stay close to the best in the world. Bauke has already come fourth in one large race and Robert has been sixth twice.

“In this way both of them have shown that the podium is within their reach. We intend to achieve this in the coming years,” he said.

The riders are currently at the Rabobank training camp in Mojacar, Spain. It finishes up on Thursday, after which both will continue working towards their first season races and what they hope will be a year of further progression and consolidation.

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