Bauke Mollema joined Trek-Segafredo in 2015 after eight years in the Dutch Rabobank system, first with Rabobank Continental and culminating with Team Belkin.
Bauke, 29, is a father of two children. He has been a professional since 2007, yet only began competing in 2005. In a cycling fanatic country like Holland where children begin racing as early as age six, his late start into cycling is unusual, but Bauke’s capacity for riding a bike fast - especially uphill - launched him to the top of the sport quickly.
Born in Groningen, Bauke grew up in the nearby village of Zuidhorn. He came from a sport-minded family, but cycling was not on his list. Instead, he spent his early years dabbling in ice hockey, speed skating, running, tennis and football (soccer), which he played competitively for eight years.
It was not until Bauke attended high school that cycling entered his life. A 12-kilometer trek to and from school in Groningen eventually led to a passion for the bicycle. This love escalated into longer excursions on the bike at age 16 to finally entering his first race at age 18. From here, it was a fast learning curve for the lanky Dutch lad, and within three years he was racing in the WorldTour.
His palmarès, already impressive, show a steady progression each season and arguably indicate this late bloomer’s best years still lie ahead. An impressive seventh at the 2015 Tour de France, Bauke was sitting in second place in last year's Tour, poised for the podium, until crashing on wet roads in stage 18. It was heartbreaking. However, Bauke rebounded like a champion – taking an emotional victory in Clásica Ciclista San Sebastián a week later.