Phil Bauhaus wins final stage at Tirreno
At the Tirreno Adriatico Phil Bauhaus won the bunch sprint at the end of the conclusive stage, improving an already very good performance of Team Bahrain Victorious. On the same day the riders in red and black secured Jack Haig’s 6th place in the GC of Paris-Nice in what was a very animated final stage.
This year's Tirreno Adriatico was a success from Team Bahrain Victorious's perspective even before the conclusive stage started. Throughout the penultimate stage the team's climbers Damiano Caruso, Pello Bilbao and Mikel Landa had shown a strong race. As a reward for this effort, Mikel Landa leapfrogged from 15th to 3rd in the overall standings and the team extended its lead in the team classification from just over 40 seconds to more than 8 minutes. But there was still one last, not overly long stage to be ridden. Leading around San Benedetto del Tronto, the first half of this stage did not feature a lot of flat kilometers while the second half was ridden on a pan-flat local loop. After a full week of tough racing there were still plenty of sprinters in the race looking for that precious sensation of success.
The stage unfolded just like the sprinters like it as the day's breakaways was made up of only three riders and relatively easy to control. Team Bahrain Victorious still had all seven riders in the race and was riding on a mental high from the performance they had delivered the day before. The climbers also did their share of the work so the legs of Jan Tratnik, Jasha Sütterlin and Heinrich Haussler would be fresh to contest the finale and to pilot Phil Bauhaus into a promising position in the expected bunch sprint. «First Jan and then Jasha did a stellar job keeping me up front in the finale, and then Heinrich dropped me off at the decisive pinch point on the final kilometer. From there I opted for the wheel of Démare, but in full acceleration I spotted a gap to the right and went for it», Phil Bauhaus described the frantic finale from his view.
Going for the right side of the street proved to be spot-on as Bauhaus was the first rider to push the front wheel of MERIDA REACTO over the finish line by a narrow margin. Thus the German sprinter added another precious win in a World Tour race to his growing palmares. Another rider who was very happy at the finish was Mikel Landa who had never been in danger of losing his 3rd place in GC throughout the final stage. «It's super nice for our team to end a race like this. Today we wanted to ride for Phil Bauhaus and he won the stage. Add to that the win in the team classification and my podium result in GC. What else could you ask for? I'm all the more happy about my result as my form was not as good as expected at the beginning of the season. This podium result is a welcome motivational push as I prepare for the Giro d'Italia.»
The final stage of Paris-Nice was ridden in wet and cold weather. For more than the first half of the stage the team of GC leader Primoz Roglic dominated the proceedings. But on the Côte de Peille the Ineos Grenadiers took charge and set a brutally fast pace. Jack Haig could not keep up with the strongest of his rivals, but he could still rely on the assistance of his Team Bahrain Victorious mates Wout Poels and Fred Wright. This proved important on the lengthy and technical descent from the Côte de Peille and on the slopes of the Col d'Eze. In the end Poels and Haig finished in the first large chase group, 1.44 minutes adrift of stage winner Simon Yates and 1.35 minutes behind Wout van Aert and Primoz Roglic. With a 9th place Wout Poels even scored another top10 result while Jack Haig held on firmly to his 6th place in the overall standings.
57TH TIRRENO ADRIATICO
STAGE 7: SAN BENEDETTO DEL TRONTO - SAN BENEDETTO DEL TRONTO, 159KM
1. Phil Bauhaus, GER/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, in 3:39.58 hours
2. Giacomo Nizzolo, ITA, st
3. Kaden Groves, AUS, st
FINAL OVERALL STANDINGS:
1. Tadej Pogacar, SVN, in 27:25.53 hours
2. Jonas Vingegaard, DEN, + 1.52
3. Mikel Landa, ESP/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, + 2.33
1. TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, BHR, in 82:26.46 hours
2. UAE Team Emirates, UAE, + 8.11
3. Bora-Hansgrohe, GER, + 19.04