Ready for the first race of the new season
After a break from racing for about three month, Team Bahrain Victorious starts the new racing season this Wednesday at the Tour de la Provence stage race. At its first showing under its new name the team wants to ride aggressively in each of the four stages. A look at the line-up for the race shows that the team brings the right riders to do just that.
Due to the cancellation of the Tour Down Under, the racing season starts a bit later than usual in 2021 for Team Bahrain Victorious. In January, a first training camp in Altea, Spain gave both the team management and the riders an opportunity to plan the season ahead, to further optimize the equipment and in parts also to get to know each other better. With Australia’s Neil Stephens and Germany’s Rolf Aldag, two well-known names join the team as sports directors. The list of riders did not change drastically after last year, with some interesting new signings compensating for the departure of Ivan Garcia Cortina, Mark Cavendish, Enrico Battaglin, Grega Bole and Luka Pibernik. As a true allrounder 27 year-old Australian Jack Haig is a strong rider in stage races. Young Swiss rider Gino Mäder showed what he’s capable of at last year’s Vuelta a España, and with Italy’s Jonathan Milan a strong sprinter and time trialist swaps the track for the road as a neo pro. As the team’s fourth new signing, Ahmed Madan is the first Bahraini in cycling’s highest league. the World Tour.
The first race on the schedule of Team Bahrain Victorious is the Tour de la Provence. Throughout its four stages, this race serves up a wide variety of terrain. the third stage finishing at Chalet Reynard on the slopes of the Mont Ventoux is likely to shape the overall standings. Despite their relatively flat finales, the initial two stages offer few flat sections and quite some climbing. While probably proving to be too hard for pure sprint specialists, these stages are likely to favour punchy classics specialists. As for the fast men in the peloton, the conclusive fourth stage looks most promising to end in a real bunch sprint. With Jack Haig, Wout Poels and Dylan Teuns Team Bahrain Victorious fields no less than three strong riders with chances for a strong result in the overall standings. Phil Bauhaus is the team’s sprint captain with Heinrich Haussler, Fred Wright and Gino Mäder taking over assisting roles.
As the sports director for this race, Rolf Aldag is promising some active racing in what is going to be the first showing of Team Bahrain Victorious this season. «We’ve had a super good training camp, and now we are looking forward to scoring results in the first race of the season. We will consider every stage as a one-day race and fight for the win. With Phil for the sprint stages, Dylan for the hilly stages and the trio of Jack, Dylan and Wout for the uphill finish, Team Bahrain Victorious has manned all the bases.» While the new outfit is mostly red and black, the design of the Merida team bikes has only seen some very subtle changes. With the bright orange headtube and handlebar tape, the Scultura Disc and Reacto Disc team bikes will stand out in racing, making sure the riders of Team Bahrain Victorious are easy to spot in the new season as well.