In a quite unexpected announcement, Bauke Mollema has turned his back on the previous seven years with Dutch outfit Belkin/Rabobank and has signed a two year deal with Trek Factory Racing as of 2015.
Such a signing would indicate that Trek are finally willing to ditch their backing of Frank and Andy Schleck and instead turn to the Dutch mountain man, with a taste for the classics, as their GC hope. Frank Schleck was of course suspended for the use of a possible masking agent, while his brother’s misfortune has left Andy thinking of dropping back to ProContinental racing in an attempt to recover from a range of career sapping injuries.
The signing of Mollema will also lead to increased activity from Trek Factory Racing, in order to bolster their support ranks if they wish to build a team to put the Dutchman closer to the podium than this year’s 21mins+ deficeit to Vincenzo Nibali.
The worst kept secret of this year’s transfer window has to be Oleg Tinkov’s ambitions to sign Peter Sagan from Cannondale. The general consensus is that this deal has been completed for some time now, primarily due to the Cannondale/Garmin merger which probably help swing Sagan’s mind and we are just waiting on confirmation. Expect an announcement to come over the course of this weeks Tour de Pologne if this is the case, but the real questions are; Can Saxo-Tinkoff operate with Peter Sagan and Alberto Contador in the same race? And is Fernando Alonso’s mysterious team still lurking in the shadows for Peter Sagan?
Speaking of Cannondale, their most combative and swashbuckling rider of this year’s Tour de France, Alessandro De Marchi has now left them to join BMC along with Garmin’s Rohan Dennis. With Cadel Evans on the cusp of retirement (please somebody make him!) and Tejay Van Garderen falling short of his potential currently, BMC certainly seem to be making some sound investments for future Grand Tours.