Mollema my biggest rival: Froome

Villars-Les-Dombes—While almost everyone at the Tour de France has been focussing on a battle royale between Chris Froome and Nairo Quintana, Bauke Mollema has been quietly edging up the standings.
And now, race leader Froome insists Mollema is the man to watch out for.
The Dutchman put in a strong time-trial on Friday, a day after being one of only two men—the other Australia’s Richie Porte—able to follow Froome’s attack on the iconic Mont Ventoux.
At 29 years of age, Mollema is perhaps finally ready to deliver on the promise he showed back in 2007 when he won the Tour de l’Avenir (Tour of the Future)—a Tour de France for riders under the age of 23.
He broke into the top 10 in the overall standings this year after stage eight, moved up to fifth on stage 11 and took over second place on Friday.
“He’s ridden extremely well,” said Briton Froome. “He was there on Ventoux when I attacked with Richie; he did a very good time-trial; I’ve got to consider him my biggest rival.” Asked after Saturday’s 14th stage if Mollema could win the Tour, a slightly less than enthusiastic Froome added: “Why not? He’s in second place now.” —APP/AFP

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