Second strong time trial from Nibali
After nine hard stages the athletes get to enjoy the first rest day at the 102nd Giro d’Italia. With another strong ride against the clock, Vincenzo Nibali as the captain of the BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM improved his position in the overall standings significantly. Meanwhile Phil Bauhaus scored a top5 result in the conclusive stage of the Tour of California, sprinting to a 4th place.
After the opening individual time trial in Bologna where Vincenzo Nibali rode to a strong 3rd place, the BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM focused on protecting its captain’s favorable position in the overall standings. But in the sixth stage that lead across the Apennine peninsula in rainy weather, the overall standings changed drastically: A dozen of riders got to fight for the stage win while the peloton with almost all pre-race favourites conceded six to seven minutes. As a consequence Nibali lost his position far up front in the overall standings. But when compared to other overall contenders, the situation and the time differences remained unchanged.
The second individual time trial of the race was another serious test: From the start in Riccione the initial 27 kilometers were mostly flat, but then the riders were facing a climb over eight kilometers to San Marino. Vincenzo Nibali expertly paced his effort on the initial, mostly flat part and managed to put time into many rivals on the following climb to the finish line. On the way to the finish he conceded no more than 1min05 to Primoz Roglic, currently one of the best time trialists and climbers in the peloton. This put hi in 4th place in the stage, allowing the captain of the BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM to move up from 18th to 11th in the overall standings before the first rest day. Even more importantly, Nibali managed to avoid any unnecessary time losses throughout the first nine days of racing.
At the Tour of California two more stages were left after Ivan Cortina’s win in Ventura: The Queen’s stage of the race finished atop Mount Baldy and the conclusive stage was a hilly ride from Santa Clarita to Pasadena. On the hard final climb to Mount Baldy only Rohan Dennis and Hermann Pernsteiner managed to stay in the faster groups. Dennis kept riding at his own pace even when one attack followed the other, and got rewarded with a strong 8th place. The conclusive stage served up mixed emotions for the BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM. Phil Bauhaus managed to score a top5 result by sprinting to 4th place. Rohan Dennis on the other hand dropped out of the top10 narrowly due to bonifications, finishing the race in 11th overall.