Rohan Dennis on target at Tour de Suisse
Before the grand finale of the Tour de Suisse, the BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM has two of its riders in the top10 of the overall standings with Rohan Dennis in 2nd and Domenico Pozzovivo in 8th. But Rohan Dennis missed out on a 2nd win in a time trial within a week, finishing the penultimate stage in 6th place. Chun Kai Feng, on the other hand, managed to defend his national time trial champion title in Taiwan.
After his win in the initial individual time trial of the Tour de Suisse around the town of Langnau, Rohan Dennis only got to wear the leader’s jersey for one day. The Australian had to hand over the yellow jersey despite the hard work of his BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM mates throughout the topographically demanding second stage. As for the three stages that followed young Spaniard Ivan Cortina got into the mix at the bunch sprints. While he scored a strong 4th place in Murten, he had to settle for 8th in Arlesheim and a 12th place in Einsiedeln. As for the latter two stages, Matej Mohoric rode very actively, getting into lead groups repeatedly and giving the team some precious screen time throughout the first couple of stages of the Tour de Suisse. As for the overall standings, the margins were still very small after five stages.
The two mountaintop finishes gave those standings some structure: At Flumserberg Domenico Pozzovivo finished in 5th and kept up with the best climbers while Rohan Dennis could keep his time loss within narrow limits, crossing the finish line in 12th. One day later things got even better for the BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM: While there was no match to Egan Bernal, Pozzovivo and Dennis crossed the finish line atop the Gotthard pass in 2nd and 3rd, respectively. Rohan Dennis held on to 2nd place in the overall standings while Domenico Pozzovivo moved up to 4th. The penultimate stage of the race saw another individual time trial, but Rohan Dennis had to settle for 6th place in the stage and could only reduce his deficit in the overall standings by 20 seconds. Domenico Pozzovivo dropped to 8th in the overall standings with just one stage remaining: The Tour de Suisse ends with a short but brutally hard mountain stage over the Nufenen, Gotthard and Furka passes.
At the Tour of Slovenia, the sprint train with Marcel Sieberg and Heinrich Haussler did not get a chance to shine throughout the initial four stages as the team’s designated sprinter Phil Bauhaus got dropped in the hilly finales. The team switched to plan B, sending Grega Bole into the sprints. While he could not get into contention in the high-speed sprint at the end of stage 1, crossing the finish line in 7th, he missed out on the win in stage 2 narrowly, finishing in 2nd. As for the hillier stages 3 and 4, Grega Bole again was the best-placed rider of the BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, missing out on the top10 however. On a more positive note, the return to racing of Yukiya Arashiro is going according to plan at the Tour of Slovenia: Three months ago the Japanese rider had suffered a serious crash in a training camp in Thailand, fracturing his left elbow and his left femur.
More positive news are coming from Taiwan: Chun Kai Feng managed to prolong his title at the national time trial championships. And he did so despite not feeling at his best yet after a crash had forced him out of the second stage of the Critérium Dauphiné.
83RD TOUR DE SUISSE, STAGE 7: UNTERTERZEN - ST.GOTTHARD, 216.6KMS
1. Egan Bernal, COL, in 5:37.40 hours
2. Domenico Pozzovivo, ITA/BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, + 0.23
3. Rohan Dennis, AUS/BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, sZ
OVERALL STANDINGS BEFORE THE CONCLUSIVE STAGE:
1. Egan Bernal, COL, in 24:40.24 Stunden
2. Rohan Dennis, AUS/BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, + 0.22
3. Patrick Konrad, AUT, + 1.46
8. Domenico Pozzovivo, ITA/BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, + 2.56
TOUR OF SLOVENIA, STAGE 2: MARIBOR - CELJE, 146.3KMS
1. Luka Mezgec, SVN, in 3:35.55 hours
2. Grega Bole, SVN/BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, st
3. Andrea Vendrame, ITA, st
TAIWANESE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS ITT: TAITUNG, 30KMS
1. Chun Kai Feng, TWN/BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, in 42.23,125 minutes
2. Chih Hao Wu, TWN, + 0.23
3. Yuan Tang Peng, TWN, + 1.02