20 Apr 2024

Plenty of success without a stage win

While the riders of Team Bahrain Victorious missed out on a stage win at the Tour of the Alps, they still had plenty of reasons to celebrate: Antonio Tiberi finished the stage race in 3rd on GC and won the young riders’ classification. The team classification was also won, which was a reward for some attacking riding throughout the race’s five days.

This year’s edition of the Tour of the Alps did not feature a mountaintop finish. Still, the five stages served up plenty of climbing, with wet and cold weather adding to the difficulty of the race. Team Bahrain Victorious went into this race with Wout Poels and Antonio Tiberi as its GC co-captains. This duo could rely on Torstein Traeen, Alberto Bruttomesso, Sergio Tu and Finlay Pickering for support. Unfortunately, the race was over for the young Brit after stage 1, but luckily, he did not suffer any serious injuries in what was a horrific crash. Two days later Sergio Tu also abandoned the race due to the wet and cold weather, so the team had to soldier on with just four riders.

Throughout the last two stages, the performances of Team Bahrain Victorious were unfazed by these setbacks, however. On the penultimate day, both Wout Poels and Antonio Tiberi upped the pressure on the race leader, but they could not distance Juan Pedro Lopez on either the climbs or the descents. When the conclusive stage entered the final hour of racing, both, Antonio TIberi and Wout Poels went on the attack alternately, but they did not get a lot of freedom from the other teams. In the end Torstein Traeen upped the pace in an attempt to launch the sprint of Wout Poels. But the Dutchman accelerated too early and got passed by four riders on the way to the line. Only beaten by stage winner Aurélien Paret-Peintre, Antonio Tiberi crossed the finish line in 2nd place.

That was good enough to secure his 3rd place in the overall standings of the Tour of the Alps. Wout Poels, on the other hand, dropped from 4th to 6th on GC on the conclusive day. Antonio Tiberi also managed to win the young riders’ classification, and Team Bahrain Victorious held on to the lead in the team classification as well. Add two more second places to the tally for Antonio Tiberi in the points classification and for Wout Poels in the best climbers’ classification. All of this goes to show that the team carried its share in shaping the race throughout the five days of the Tour of the Alps while braving some seriously harsh conditions.

The conditions were even more brutal at the semi-classic La Flèche Wallonne raced last Wednesday. After a sunny start, the weather in the Belgian Ardennes deteriorated quickly, with a mix of hail, snow and strong winds adding to the difficulty of the race. Of a total of 174 starters, only 44 riders made it to the finish. The only rider of Team Bahrain Victorious to do so was Colombian Santiago Buitrago. He rode a strong finale, made it into a late five-rider attack and finally crossed the finish line atop the Mur de Huy in 5th place. Three days earlier Pello Bilbao had finished the Amstel Gold Race in 9th place.


1. Aurélien Paret-Peintre, FRA, in 2:50.20 hours
3. Valentin Paret-Peintre, FRA, st

1. Juan Pedro Lopez, ESP, in 18:20.43 hours
2. Ben O’Connor, AUS, + 0.38
3. Antonio Tiberi, ITA/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, + 0.42

1. Antonio Tiberi, ITA/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, in 18:21.25 hours
2. Valentin Paret-Peintre, FRA, + 0.02
3. Giulio Pellizzari, ITA, + 1.12

1. TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, BHR, in 55:13.25 hours 
2. Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale Team, FRA, + 5.55
3. Movistar Team, ESP,  + 21.34

Photos: Sprint Cycling Agency