Bauke Mollema wins stage 1 of the Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var.

Mollema gets a win in France: Daily News

We close out the week with the start of the Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var

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Hello again, CyclingTips readers,

We close out the week with the start of the Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var (the race formerly known as the Tour du Haut Var), where plenty of big names are getting some early-season racing into the legs.

In other news, Romain Bardet could be heading to the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España this year.

Read on for the latest from the world of cycling.

Dane Cash
News Editor

What’s news?

Mollema wins Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var opener

Bauke Mollema stormed to victory on stage 1 of the Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var, triumphing in a tough finale.

The 186.8 km stage from Biot closed out with three trips ascents of the Col du Gourdon climb. Riders fired off attacks out of a reduced pack on the last trip up, but nothing really stuck, and leaving the win still in play in the last kilometer. Mollema made his move with a few hundred meters left on the uphill run to the line and opened a small gap that he held to the line to nab the win, with Greg Van Avermaet settling for runner-up honors one second later and Valentin Madouas in third.

Mollema will take the leader’s jersey into the second stage of the three-day race.

Bardet reportedly plans to race the Giro and the Vuelta this year

L’Equipe reports that Romain Bardet’s plans for his first season with DSM (after making the move over from AG2R La Mondiale) will include the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España – and not the Tour de France.

According to L’Equipe, Bardet will get his season underway with his first ever start at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad next Saturday, February 27. He will then head to Strade Bianche and then Tirreno-Adriatico. Later in the season, he will reportedly race the Giro d’Italia in what will mark his debut in the Italian Grand Tour. The 30-year-old Frenchman had initially been planning on racing the Giro last year but ultimately changed plans and rode the Tour instead.

Following the Giro, Bardet is hoping to be selected to race the Tokyo Olympics, and is then set to race the Vuelta a España.

Marquee riders set to race Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

Going back to the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, race organizers have announced some of the stars expected to be in attendance at this year’s event.

Notables set to attend the men’s race include defending champ Jasper Stuyven and his Trek-Segafredo teammate Mads Pedersen, Philippe Gilbert, Oliver Naesen and new AG2R-Citroën teammate Greg Van Avermaet, Julian Alaphilippe, Zdenek Stybar, Alexander Kristoff, Arnaud Démare, Niki Terpstra, and the aforementioned Bardet, to name only some of the provisional starters.

On the women’s side, big names include 2020 winner Annemiek van Vleuten, Chantal van den Broek-Blaak, Anna van der Breggen, Amy Pieters, Jolen D’hoore, Marta Bastianelli, Coryn Rivera, Lizzie Deignan, Ellen van Dijk, and Elisa Longo Borghini.

ISN manager Calström: UAE Tour will be a ‘building block’ for Froome

Chris Froome is set to get his first season with Israel Start-Up Nation underway this weekend at the UAE Tour, following an offseason that saw the four-time Tour winner focused on getting back to his best, spending time in Southern California combining sessions at the Red Bull Performance Center with training out on the road.

Rider and team see the UAE Tour as an opportunity for Froome to continue working his way back into top form, with team manager Kjell Carlström saying in a press release, “Being as it’s Chris’s first race following a good and successful period of training and rehab, we expect him to use the UAE Tour as a building block to further develop his shape towards the bigger objectives that are waiting down the line.”

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