Bauke Mollema has won his second Tour stage of his career in the fourteenth stage of the Tour de France. The 34-year-old Groninger from Trek-Segafredo arrived on Saturday after 183.7 kilometers solo in Quillan and thus gave his team the first stage victory in this edition. Yellow jersey wearer Tadej Pogacar arrived almost seven minutes behind him.
Mollema (34) was in a leading group with thirteen other riders in the stage between Carcassonne and Quillan and managed to escape when there was still 40 kilometers to go. There had been several attack attempts before that. Over the five not too difficult climbs, Wout Poels and Canadian Michael Woods battled for points in the mountains classification. Two groups joined from the background, including Mollema.
Finally Mollema attacked in the descent of the Côte de Galinagues. Poels reacted briefly, but saw his compatriot disappear from sight. De Groninger ran out to a lead of more than a minute and held on to the last climb, the Col de Saint-Louis. He started the descent into Quillan with a minute’s lead and despite attempts by Woods – the new wearer of the polka dot jersey – Austrian Patrick Konrad and Colombian Sergio Higuita to get closer, he did not give up his lead. Just over a minute from the winner, Konrad sprinted to second place ahead of Higuita.
Second Dutch stage win
Frenchman Guillaume Martin finished one and a half minutes behind Mollema and rose to second place in the general classification with his eleventh place. Pogacar is still at the top of this. A tough ride in the Pyrenees awaits the peloton on Sunday; Monday is the second rest day of this Tour.
Mollema is the second Dutchman to take the stage victory in this Tour, after Mathieu van der Poel’s victory in the second stage. Mollema won the fifteenth stage of the Tour to Le Puy-en-Velay in 2017, when he also escaped from a leading group and rode solo to the finish line. He also won the Tour of Lombardy in 2019 and the Classica San Sebastian in 2016.