Gino Mäder narrowly misses out on first win
At both the Paris-Nice and the Tirreno Adriatico stage races the riders of Team Bahrain Victorious have been racing aggressively throughout the last couple of days, pleasing their fans. In the Queen’s stage of Paris-Nice Gino Mäder missed out on his first pro win ever so narrowly, and Phil Bauhaus, Dylan Teuns and Mikel Landa all scored a top5 result each.
After two top10 results by Phil Bauhaus in the opening, flat stages the focus of the team shifted to Jack Haig and Dylan Teuns as Team Bahrain Victorious’s two co-captains for the overall standings for the second half of the Paris-Nice stage race. But these two riders lost more time than they had expected themselves in the individual time trial over 13 kilometers. Phil Bauhaus on the other hand improved on his sprint performances at the end of the fifth stage, crossing the finish line in Bollène in 4th and scoring a first top5 result for the team in this race. Dylan Teuns doubled up with another 4th place in the ascending finale of the sixth stage, crossing the finish line in 4th as well. Due to restrictions for large events imposed in the fight against Covid-19, the last two stages of the race had to be changed, putting the start outside of Nice and shortening the overall distance as a consequence.
Still, the 7th stage finishing atop Valdeblore la Colmiane easily kept its status as the Queen’s stage of this year’s race. For a long time a strong 13-rider group was riding in the lead of the race, and Team Bahrain Victorious had two riders in this group with Dylan Teuns and Gino Mäder. When the attacks started on the lower slopes of the final ascent, Gino Mäder soon proved to be the strongest climber up front. At first the young Swiss rider closed the gap to various attackers before getting rid of his last remaining companions on the final ten kilometers. But the distance to the group of favourites was too small, and in what was a true heartbreak finale, Gino Mäder got caught and passed by Primoz Roglic with less than 100 meters to go. By crossing the finish line in 2nd, Gino still scored a brilliant result. At the same time Jack Haig managed to move up into the top10 thanks to a solid ride, and Team Bahrain Victorious moved up to 3rd in the team classification with one stage to go.
Tirreno Adriatico is the second stage race of the week for Team Bahrain Victorious, and here Mikel Landa can rely on the team’s support as the designated captain for the overall. In the finale of the second stage, the Basque rider showed his strength when he pulled away from the peloton with Simon Yates, Pavel Sivakov and Joao Almeida only to be brought back on the penultimate kilometer. In the third stage, Mark Padun was part of a breakaway all day only to be caught by the peloton in the final kilometers. With two hard HC climbs, one of them being the hard final ascent to Prati di Tivo, the fourth stage of the race was expected to reshape the overall standings. After the remaining three members of an early escape had been mopped up by the group of favourites, the attacks started to fly. While Mikel Landa could neutralise the attacks of Egan Bernal, Joao Almeida and Geraint Thomas, the attack of Pogacar was too powerful for him and all others. As for the sprint for 3rd place, Mikel Landa was beaten by Colombia’s Higuita in a proper uphill photo finish.
79TH PARIS - NICE
STAGE 7: LE BROC - VALDEBLORE LA COLMIANE, 119.2KM
1. Primoz Roglic, SLO, in 3:09.18 hours
2. Gino Mäder, SUI/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, + 0.02
3. Maximilian Schachmann, GER, + 0.05