May 17, 2021

Stage wins and more for Phil Bauhaus

With two wins and a 3rd and 4th place respectively, Phil Bauhaus was the strongest sprinter at the five-stage Tour d’Hongrie. This was rewarded with the green jersey for the winner of the points classification. As for the Giro d’Italia Team Bahrain Victorious is another rider down due to a crash of Matej Mohoric.

Phil Bauhaus started the Tour d’Hongrie on a high note by winning the first stage. In the frantically contested finale of the second stage the lead out of Team Bahrain Victorious went awry, and Phil Bauhaus was forced to mind for himself. He did pretty well at that, pushing his front wheel over the line in 3rd with a last-ditch effort. The riders in red and black clearly were on a mission to do things better in the third stage: First Marcel Sieberg and then Heinrich Haussler set a hard pace and guided the peloton through the many treacherous turns in the finale. A number of crashes occurred further back in the bunch, so the sprint for the stage win came down to about 20 riders. When riders of other teams started to infiltrate Team Bahrain Victorious’s lead out train, Fred Wright accelerated hard and forced the other teams to react. Phil Bauhaus made good use of this situation by passing Mike Teunissen on the line, securing his second stage win in the Tour d’Hongrie. Crossing the line in 3rd, Fred Wright added to the tally of the team.

The fourth stage ended at the Kékes as the highest mountain of Hungary, and being the only mountaintop finish it was set to decide the overall standings. As soon as the roads started ascending, Fred Wright took care of young Colombian Santiago Buitrago who was the team's protected rider for this day. Wright set the pace of the group of overall contenders until the route took a turn to the proper mountain road leading to the finish with 3.5 kilometers to go. From there, Buitrago was on his own but when the decisive accelerations came with one kilometer to go the Colombian could not follow the fastest climbers, crossing the finish line in 10th place. The conclusive stage was ridden on a loop in the capital of Budapest. Team Bahrain Victorious kept Phil Bauhaus nicely out of the wind, but the latter accelerated a bit too early, and since the finishing straight was slightly ascending, he got passed by three riders and had to settle for 4th. But he still won the green jersey for the winner of the points classification. Seeing Ahmed Madan as Bahrain's first pro cyclist riding and finishing the Tour d'Hongrie, being able to help the team after a rough start was also great to watch.

By winning the sixth stage of the Giro d'Italia, Gino Mäder had also taken the lead in the KOM standings. Adding an icing to the cake, Team Bahrain Victorious also leaped into the lead of the team classification that day, showing a strong reaction to the loss of its captain Mikel Landa the day before. The seventh stage had hardly any impact on the overall standings as it all came down to a bunch sprint. The next day the breakaway made it all the way to the finish, and since Damiano Caruso was the only rider in red and black to climb with the fastest in the group of favourites, the lead in the team classification was lost. The ninth stage of the Giro d'Italia served up a hefty series of climbs and hardly a flat section in the Abruzzi mountains, dishing out an aggregate 3500 meters of climbing and a finish on a steep gravel road. The stage seemed to start well when Gino Mäder got into an early breakaway and won the full points tally at the first categorised climb of the day, extending his lead in the KOM standings.

But in the following descent disaster struck for Matej Mohoric: The Slovene rider lost traction in a tight corner, and just when he seemed to have that wild drift on both wheels under control his front wheel hit something and he was flicked off his bike, crashing badly. This kind of crash is known as a highsider and is not unusual in motor sports. Luckily Mohoric was conscious and able to walk after his crash, but seen the gravity of the crash he was put on a stretcher and brought to a hospital with a race ambulance. Luckily the check-up showed no broken bones and only a concussion, but Matej will have to spend the night at the hospital. Naturally MERIDA BIKES wishes him a fast recovery. After this crash Team Bahrain Victorious is down to six riders, losing another important rider after Mikel Landa in this Giro d'Italia. In the stage finale, the group of favourites closed in on the second breakaway of the day. The stage win was for Egan Bernal, but Damiano Caruso rode a strong finale and was the best-placed rider of the team in 6th place, further consolidating his position in the top10 of the overall standings of the Giro d'Italia.

1. Phil Bauhaus, GER/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, in 3:17.30 hours
2. Mike Teunissen, NED, st

1. Phil Bauhaus, GER/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, 53 points
2. Jordi Meeus, BEL, 30 points
3. Edward Theuns, BEL, 24 points