First podium result at the Vuelta a España
On the second rest day of this year’s Vuelta a España, Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS is still chasing that first stage win. By finishing stage 15 in 3rd place, Santiago Buitrago at least scored a first podium result. The team is also placed 4th in the team classification. As for the races in Canada, Matej Mohoric finished the one-day race in Québec in 5th place.
The dominating storyline throughout the first two weeks of this year’s Vuelta a España has been the battle between Remco Evenepoel and Team Jumbo Visma. This significantly reduced the chances for all other teams to shine. After the strongest climbers of Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS had lost about two minutes in the individual time trial that followed the first rest day, they were granted more freedom to go on the attack. The day before the second rest day, Santiago Buitrago handily made use of this constellation: After a long day in the breakaway and a strong performance in the hills of the Basque country, he crossed the finish line at the end of stage 15 in 3rd, scoring a first podium result for the team in this race.
Before that, a 4th place by Mikel Landa at the end of an eventful stage 6 had been the best result from the team’s perspective. After 15 of a total of 21 stages, Landa sits in 7th on GC, trailing overall leader Sepp Kuss by a bit more than 4 minutes. Santiago Buitrago follows in 13th, which puts him in 4th place in the young riders’ classification, and Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS is also positioned in 4th in the team classification. The team had even made it to the top of these standing at the end of stage 6, only to lose the lead two days later. As for the bunch sprints, young Slovenian rider Matevz Govekar so far scored a 10th as his best result. And with Antonio Tiberi, another young rider of the team is proving his worth as a supporting rider.
Last weekend, Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS also competed in the East of Canada at the two one-day races of the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec et Montreal. For these two races, Matej Mohoric, who still is riding in excellent form since the third week of the Tour de France, and Pello Bilbao had been selected as the co-captains, with the likes of Jack Haig, Flilip Maciejuk, Edoardo Zambanini, Nicolo Buratti and Fran Miholjevic riding in their support. After an animated finale the race in Québec came down to a sprint of a reduced peloton. While Matej Mohoric could not match the speed of winner Arnaud De Lie, he still scored a very respectable 5th place in the sprint on an ascending finishing straight. Two days later, the race in Montreal was ridden in the rain. Only two of the team’s riders made it all the way to the finish, with Mohoric crossing the line in 18th.
78TH VUELTA A ESPAÑA, STAGE 15: PAMPLONA - LEKUNBERRI, 158.3KM
1. Rui Costa, POR, in 3:30.56 hours
2. Lennard Kämna, GER, st
3. Santiago Buitrago, COL/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, st
Photos: Sprint Cycling Agency