Mar 6, 2024

Two Worldtour victories within 30 minutes

In what is real first for Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, the team won two races on Worldtour level within 30 minutes. Phil Bauhaus was the fastest in a bunch sprint that decided stage 3 of Tirreno Adriatico, and shortly after, Santiago Buitrago celebrated an emphatic solo win at the 4th stage of Paris-Nice.

Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS went into this year’s Tirreno Adriatico stage race with young Italian Antonio Tiberi as its GC captain. He proved his good condition by riding to 7th place in the opening pan-flat time trial in Lido di Camaiore. As for the climbs, Tiberi could rely on vastly experienced support courtesy of Damiano Caruso and Wout Poels. And for flat stages Phil Bauhaus got a strong lead-out with Andrea Pasqualon and Nikias Arndt. Yukiya Arashiro completed the line-up as a selfless domestique for flatter sections. At the end of the first sprint stage, Phil Bauhaus found no free trajectory and thus had to settle for 13th place.

Stage 3 was a whole lot tougher and really long at 225 kilometres. To make matters worse for the sprinters, the roads were mostly leading uphill in the finale, and the wet and cold weather added to the day’s difficulties. The last rider of the day’s breakaway was brought back with 22 kilometres to go, and despite a flurry of accelerations and attacks, the peloton would not split on the last categorised climb. Throughout the final 10 kilometres, the speed picked up, and still only a few sprinters were losing contact in a finale that was ridden on wet roads. Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS managed to keep Phil Bauhaus at the sharp end of the peloton, and the German made it through the last tricky corners in a perfect position.

Phil Bauhaus entered the finish straight in Gualdo Tadino in a perfect position, accelerated from the slipstream of a rival and did not show any weakness from there. The German sprinter distanced his former teammate Jonathan Milan by a bike length, and with Damiano Caruso in 7th and Nikias Arndt in 10th, the team saw two more of its riders finish in the top 10. "Since the stage profile was on the limit for me, I really did not expect to win today, and I was suffering on the last climb. But the team believed in me and got me into the last kilometre in a perfect position. I still had the legs to ride a strong sprint, and of course, I am super happy to get that first win of the year.“

But things were to get even better for Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS as stage 4 of Paris-Nice was ridden in truly demanding weather conditions. In the finale, Santiago Buitrago managed to bridge the gap to late attacker Luke Plapp, and these two worked together seamlessly. As the chasers were hesitant at times and tried to force each other into the lead, the gap of the duo grew to 40 seconds at the foot of the final and steep Mont Brouilly climb. On this steep 3 kilometres the chasers did not manage to claw back any meaningful time. With 1.3 kilometres to go, Santiago Buitrago made good use of one of the steepest sections to drop his companion and go all ou for the finish line. This resulted in the second Worldtour stage win within 30 minutes for the team.

"Despite my great shape, I did not expect this today. After two riders had attacked, I decided to counter and bridge the gap to Luke Plapp. Since we shared the same goals, we cooperated well far into the final climb, where I placed my attack on the steepest sections - and this attack was decisive. To win today in France is amazing to me since this is a Worldtour race, and the team also won at Tirreno today, so it’s an incredible day, really“, Santiago Buitrago commented on his victory. The Colombian moved up to 2nd place in the overall standings at 13 seconds of the new GC leader.

1. Phil Bauhaus, GER/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, in 5:25.51 hours
2. Jonathan Milan, ITA, st
3. Kévin Vauquelin, FRA, st

1. Santiago Buitrago, COL/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, in 4:25.52 hours
2. Luke Plapp, AUS, + 0.10
3. Mattias Skjelmose, DEN, + 0.37

Photos: Sprint Cycling Agency