Phil Bauhaus wins stage 1 in Slovenia

The winning streak of Team Bahrain Victorious continues at the Tour of Slovenia: At the end of the first stage, Phil Bauhaus capped off the perfect lead-out of his teammates to sprint to the stage win - his fourth personal win of the season and the 11th victory for the team.

For the Tour of Slovenia, Team Bahrain Victorious has selected a line-up of riders who can deliver results in flat sprint stages or in more demanding terrain. As for the sprints, Phil Bauhaus can rely on the able support of Heinrich Haussler, Marcel Sieberg and Jonathan Milan. As soon as the stages get too hard for the sprinters, the team’s focus switches to three other riders: As the designated captain for the overall standings, Matej Mohoric returns to racing on home turf following his serious crash at the Giro d’Italia. Following his many courageous rides in Italy, Jan Tratnik is likely to be a crowd favourite as well with the Slovenian fans. The final rider in red and black to fill up the roster is talented climber Kevin Inkelaar. Apart from Matej Mohoric’s return to racing, Marcel Sieberg made many headlines on the day of the first stage by announcing his retirement from pro cycling at the end of the season.

The first stage of the Tour of Slovenia measured 151.5 kilometres from Ptuj to Rogaska Slatina, with the profile of the racecourse showing not a lot of serious challenges. The fight for the breakaway was fierce however, as it took a full hour before 7 riders from second-tier teams managed to break free. Back in the peloton Team Bahrain Victorious and Team UAE Emirates shared the workload to control this breakaway, and they only granted a maximum advantage of about two minutes to this septet. As a consequence, it was more a matter of when exactly than if the breakaway would be brought back. Some late attacks of single riders were futile and neutralised quickly as well. With three kilometers to go the riders of Team Bahrain Victorious managed to avoid a large pile-up, and from there the team showed a picture-book lead-out with first Jonathan Milan, then Marcel Sieberg and finally Heinrich Haussler taking the lead of the peloton and Phil Bauhaus riding at the end of the red and back sprint train.

In the slipstream of his final lead-out man Heinrich Haussler, Phil Bauhaus waited for the perfect moment for his acceleration, and he kicked with 200 meters to go. Hugging the right side of the road, the German sprinter had enough left to keep a hard-charging Jon Aberasturi at bay on the line. Thus after two stages of the Tour de Hongrie and a stage at the Tour de Provence, Bauhaus got to celebrate his 4th win of the season. For Team Bahrain Victorious this is the 11th victory of the season already. At the Tour de Suisse on the other hand the riders in red and black had to settle for a top10 result at the end of stage 4. While the stage win went to a rider from the day’s breakaway, Fred Wright was fifth in the sprint of the peloton, which put him in 9th place in the day’s standings.

1. Phil Bauhaus, GER/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, in 3:33.45 hours
2. Ion Aberasturi, ESP, st
3. Rui OIiveira, POR, st

Image: Sportida Photo Agency/sportida.com