Bauke Mollema solos to stunning victory in Trofeo Laigueglia 2021 

The Trek-Segafredo rider held off an elite chasing group including Egan Bernal 

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Bauke Mollema soloed to a stunning victory in Italian one-day race Trofeo Laigueglia.

The Trek-Segafredo Dutchman launched a devastating attack 15km from the line, holding off an elite chasing group including Egan Bernal to secure the win.

Despite a valiant effort from the five-rider chasing group, Mollema took the win 39 seconds ahead of Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) in second, with Deceuninck - Quick-Step’s Mauri Vansevenant rounding out the podium.

How it happened

The 2021 edition of the 1.Pro-ranked Trofeo Laigueglia was raced over 202km along Italy’s Mediterranean coast.

A one-day race for the climbers, this year’s edition featured six categorised climbs along the route, including four ascents of the Colla Micheri and the Capo Mele during laps of a finishing circuit from around 160km into the day.

Racing started with an 11-rider breakaway, which featured Britain’s John Archibald (Eolo-Kometa) and Nicolas Edet (Cofidis).

While the break pulled out a four-minute advantage early in the stage, the peloton began to wound in the escapees over the tough climbs in the middle sections of the race.

The race then exploded inside the final 70km as riders entered the four finishing circuits, as Mikel Landa (Bahrain-Victorious) attacked.

After more attacks from the likes of Guilio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) and Bernal, the remains of the breakaway were swept up and an elite group formed at the front of the race inside 20km, including Mollema, Bernal, Landa and Vansevenant.

With 15km left to race, Mollema launched his attack and immediately pulled out a gap, extending his advantage over his final ascents of the Colla Micheri and Capo Mele.

>>> Who is the bookies’s favourite to win Strade Bianche 2021?  

Mollema carried his attack all the way to the line, securing a huge early-season victory.

Results

Trofeo Laigueglia 2021:  Laigueglia to Laigueglia (202km)

1. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo, in 4-57-05

2. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos Grenadiers, at 39s

3. Mauri Vansevenant (Bel) Deceuninck - Quick-Step

4. Clément Champoussin (Fra) Ag2r Citroën

5. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo

6. Mikel Landa (Esp) Bahrain-Victorious, all at same time

7. James Knox (GBr) Deceuninck - Quick-Step, at 57s

8. Andrea Vendrame (Ita) Ag2r Citroën, at 1-01

9. Biniam Ghirmay (Eri) Delko

10. Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux, all at same time