Podium results in Oman and Spain
With a stage win by Sonny Colbrelli, two podium results in the conclusive two stages and Domenico Pozzovivo’s 2nd place in the overall standings, the BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM performed strongly at the Tour of Oman. And the riders in red, gold and dark blue got to celebrate another podium result in Spain at the Ruta del Sol.
As the month of March comes closer the race calendar gets more packed, and the BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM is no exception in this regard. At the Tour of Oman the team continued to perform impressively after Sonny Colbrelli’s victory in stage four. As the Queen’s stage of the race the fifth stage finishing atop Green Mountain was supposed to shape the overall standings. At first a lead group of six riders took charge of things. As no team was willing to invest too much in the chase, the six attackers still kept a lead of more than four minutes with twenty kilometers to go. But when the fight for the overall standings got serious most of those riders were soon to be caught. The upper ramps of the Green Mountain climb had to show who were the best climbers at the Tour of Oman.
After a number of accelerations three riders separated themselves from the rest: overall leader Alexey Lutsenko, Jesus Herrada and Domenico Pozzovivo. While Lutsenko managed to catch and drop the last attacker on the final kilometer and rode to his third stage win in the race, Domenico Pozzovivo crossed the finish line eleven seconds in arrears of the Kazakh rider. Finishing the stage in 3rd, Pozzovivo won four bonification seconds and moved from 5th to 2nd in the overall standings. On the last day this result got in serious danger when Pozzovivo could not avoid a big pile-up with forty kilometers to go. Luckily the Italian climber kept his cool, got back in the saddle right away and could rely on his team mates to get him back to the peloton. Thus Domenico Pozzovivo was not only happy about finishing the Tour of Oman in 2nd in the overall standings, but also because he escaped the crash with nothing worse but bruises and abrasions.
In the finale of the conclusive stage Sonny Colbrelli found another opportunity to shine: While he launched his sprint with about 300 meters to go on the left side of the street, his compatriot Giacomo Nizzolo sprinted along the right shoulder of the Matrah Corniche seaside promenade. The two Italians went head to head all the way to the finish line, but Nizzolo got there just a bit earlier. The third podium result of the day for the BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM came courtesy of young Spaniard Ivan Cortina at the end of the 2nd stage of the Ruta del Sol: One day earlier, Matej Mohoric had missed out on a top10 position narrowly by finishing in 11th. In Torredonjimeno Ivan Cortina tried to surprise the sprinters with an extremely long sprint - or was it a very late attack? His gamble almost paid off, but in the end Cortina had to settle for 3rd behind two pure sprint specialists.
10th Tour of Oman
Stage 5: Samayil - Al Jabal Al Akhdar (Green Mountain), 152km
1. Alexey Lutsenko, KAZ, in 3:44.03 hours
2. Fabien Grellier, FRA, + 0.07
3. Domenico Pozzovivo, ITA/BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, + 0.11
Stage 6: Al Mouj Muscat - Matrah Corniche, 135.5km
1. Giacomo Nizzolo, ITA, in 3:07.12 hours
2. Sonny Colbrelli, ITA/BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, st
3. Davide Ballerini, ITA, st
Final overall standings
1. Alexey Lutsenko, KAZ, in 21:45.51 hours
2. Domenico Pozzovivo, ITA/BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, + 0.44
3. Jesus Herrada, ESP, + 0.47
65th Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista del Sol
Stage 2: Sevilla - Torredonjimeno, 216.5km
1. Matteo Trentin, ITA, in 5:55.28 hours
2. Danny van Poppel, NED, st
3. Ivan Cortina Garcia, ESP/BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, st