Finally a win after four podium results
At the Ruta Ciclista del Sol Team Bahrain-McLaren showed strong performances throughout the race’s five days: After four podium results in the first four stages, Dylan Teuns managed to win the conclusive individual time trial. Mikel Landa finished the stage race in 3rd in the overall standings, and Team Bahrain-McLaren won the team classification by an impressive margin.
Team Bahrain-McLaren had already won the team classification at the Volta Comunitat a la Valenciana in commanding fashion, and the team showed its collective strength again at the Ruta Ciclista del Sol that was contested in Southern Spain’s Andalusia region. Mikel Landa had finished the first stage in 2nd, and things were to continue this way. Dylan Teuns sprinted to 3rd in the ascending finale of stage 2, and he looked to be on his way to the win in stage 3 until he followed a motorbike in the last corner rather than staying on course. In his stead Pello Bilbao contested the sprint of a small elite group, scoring a 2nd place. On the fourth day Mikel Landa showed that he was one of the strongest climbers in this race. In the end the Basque rider made it to the finish of the stage with Jack Haig and Jakob Fuglsang as company and he had to settle for 3rd in the sprint. This was the fourth consecutive podium result for the team in as many days.
The conclusive stage of the race was a 13 kilometer individual time trial on a hilly course. Mikel Landa started with the goal of defending his 2nd place in the overall standings, but he missed out on that by 13 seconds and finished the race in 3rd in the overall standings. Pello Bilbao in 4th and Sonny Colbrelli in 10th showed strong performances against the clock, helping Team Bahrain-McLaren to secure the win in the team classification. Dylan Teuns unseated Alex Edmondson from the hot seat with a new fastest time and then had to look how his rivals fared. Jakob Fuglsang came agonizingly close, missing out on Teuns’ time by just 0.8 seconds. Thus Teuns and the team finally got to celebrate that elusive stage win - the third win in a time trial aboard MERIDA’s TIME-WARP TT after the prologue of the Tour de Romandie and the first stage of the Tour de Suisse last season.
On the same day that saw the Ruta Ciclista del Sol to an end the UAE Tour started in Dubai. While this stage race does not feature a time trial anymore, two stages are ending atop Jebel Hafeet, also known as Green Mountain. Add one stage that finishes atop the Hatta Dam where Sonny Colbrelli won one year ago and four entirely flat stages for the pure sprinters. For this race, Team Bahrain-McLaren fields no less than six new signings for this season and Japan’s Yukiya Arashiro. Wout Poels is the designated captain for the overall standings and can rely on the support of Rafa Valls and Eros Capecchi for the climbs. Enrico Battaglin can help in climbs, but the versatile Italian can also support Arashiro and Marco Haller in the flat stages to pilot Mark Cavendish into the bunch sprints that typically decide many stage in this race. At the end of the first stage Cavendish could not find any gaps, crossing the finish line in 15th.
66TH VUELTA A ANDALUCIA RUTA CICLISTA DEL SOL
STAGE 5: MIJAS - MIJAS, 13KM (ITT)
1. Dylan Teuns, BEL/Team Bahrain-McLaren, in 17.57 minutes
2. Jakob Fuglsang, DEN, + 0.00,8
3. Alex Edmondson, AUS, + 0.02
STAGE 4: VILLANUEVA MESIA - GRANADA, 125KM
1. Jack Haig, AUS, in 3:07.35 hours
2. Jakob Fuglsang, DEN, st
3. Mikel Landa, ESP/Team Bahrain-McLaren, st
STAGE 3: JÁEN - UBEDA, 176.9KM
1. Jakob Fuglsang, DEN, in 4:33.25 hours
2. Pello Bilbao, ESP/Team Bahrain-McLaren, st
3. Brandon McNulty, USA, + 0.01
STAGE 2: SEVILLA - IZNAJAR, 198.1KM
1. Gonzalo Serrano, ESP, in 5:07.49 hours
2. Juan José Lobato, ESP, + 0.02
3. Dylan Teuns, BEL/Team Bahrain-McLaren, st
1. Jakob Fuglsang, DEN, in 17:47.58 hours
2. Jack Haig, AUS, + 0.59
3. Mikel Landa, ESP/Team Bahrain-McLaren, + 1.12
1. Team Bahrain-McLaren, in 52:58.09 hours
2. Mitchelton Scott + 4.38
3. Astana Pro Team + 12.08