Mollema has concentrated on the Tour de France for the last few years and enjoyed successes there with three top-10 places and 11th overall in this year’s edition of the race. The 30-year-old had talked vaguely about his Grand Tour ambition for next year, with the Giro a potential destination but at the team’s camp in Spain, he confirmed the plan to Cyclingnews.
“I’m going to do the Giro next year. The idea has been in my head since the Tour de France and when I knew that Alberto was coming to the team. Over the last weeks we’ve finalised it all with the team. I’ll also do the Tour this year but that will be to help Contador win the race,” he said.
Trek-Segafredo have beefed up their budget for 2017 and with Fabian Cancellara retiring have used that financial clout to sign Contador, John Degenkolb and a raft of other new riders. The additional arrivals has meant that a number of new objectives have been drawn up and for the first time in several years the team will head to the Giro and the Tour with two genuine contenders for the podium. This year the team had hoped that Ryder Hesjedal would spearhead their Giro challenge but the now-retired rider quit the race.
“When Alberto came I knew that the plan was for him to go the Tour and try to win. It’s difficult to go to the Tour with two guys for GC. I’ll help him there and I think it’s good for me and my development as a rider. I want to at least try and get on the podium in the Giro. We’ve got an Italian sponsor and I think everything came together.”
Mollema’s only experience in the Giro came in 2010 when he made his Grand Tour debut. Ivan Basso – who is now part of the Trek Segafredo management – won the race, while Mollema suffered through the event.
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