Mollema joins Trek as Belkin lose another star rider

Mollema's signing confirms Trek will no longer support the Schleck brothers at the Tour de France.

Bauke Mollema in the 2014 Clasica San Sebastian
(Image credit: Watson)

Bauke Mollema will join team Trek Factory Racing in 2015 after the last seven years with Rabobank/Belkin. Trek announced its signing on Tuesday morning, welcoming the Dutchman who finished 10th in this year's Tour de France on a two-year contact.

"Bauke has shown a very consistent development as a GC rider, both in one week races like the Tour de Suisse and Grand Tours," said Trek Factory Racing's General Manager Luca Guercilena. "He is also a high potential rider for the hilly classics, as he has shown last weekend by taking second place in the Clásica San Sebastián. We believe in him and we want to help him to bolster his talent."

Trek will look to bolster their grand tour support for Mollema now its former stars, brothers Fränk and Andy Schleck have long since faded out of contention in WorldTour races. The team has yet to confirm their contracts for 2015 although Andy Schleck is rumoured to be leaving for team Europcar.

Mollema finished 21-15 minutes behind race winner Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) in the Tour de France. Last year, he placed sixth behind Chris Froome (Sky) and won a stage at the Vuelta a España.

"I feel like this team will give me the space to grow as a rider," said Mollema. "A new environment and new faces will be good for me, I believe."

Trek is also reportedly interested in Colombian talent, Jarlinson Pantano.

BMC Racing announced on Tuesday morning that it signed Italian climber Damiano Caruso on a "multi-year" deal starting with 2015. The Sicilian could be called up to help riders like Tejay van Garderen in grand tours.

"He brings with him a strong desire to excel his talents with us," General Manager Jim Ochowicz said. "He is an outstanding climber who has delivered big results in the past and the future holds great opportunities for him both as a leader and a worker."

Caruso served a ban, though back-dated, in 2011 that stripped some of his results from that year for reportedly trying to buy banned drugs.

BMC announced on Saturday that it signed Alessandro De Marchi, also from team Cannondale, for 2015. Cannondale is reportedly closing its team and joining team Garmin as a sponsor.

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