Team Bahrain Victorious lying in wait
Before the third and decisive week of the Giro d’Italia, the pro cyclists got to enjoy another rest day. The riders of Team Bahrain Victorious inched yet closer to that elusive stage win, and the situation looks pretty promising both in the general classification and in the team classification.
With two stages for the sprinters, three hilly stages that were not to be underestimated and a first mountaintop finish in the Alps, the second week of the Giro d’Italia certainly did not lack in diversity. And Team Bahrain Victorious was in the thick of the action a lot of times, with the top priority being to protect its leaders Mikel Landa and Pello Bilbao from crashes, echelons and other imponderabilities. The riders in red, orange and black succeeded in doing so. But after 15 stages they are still on the hunt for that elusive stage win, despite giving it a shot through various scenarios. As for the team classification, Team Bahrain Victorious is placed in 2nd at just a bit over a minute from the leaders.
The riders who got closest to a stage win in the second week from Team Bahrain Victorious’s perspective were Phil Bauhaus and Santiago Buitrago. At the end of stage 13, the peloton timed its effort perfectly to catch the breakaway on the final kilometre. In the ensuing bunch sprint, Phil Bauhaus was only beaten by triple stage winner Arnaud Démare by one wheel length. Two days later young Colombian Santiago Buitrago was part of a substantial breakaway in the first mountain stage in the Alps. He only had to let the later stage winner Giulio Ciccone go up the road with 20 kilometres to go, and from there he cleverly paced his effort to secure a 2nd place on the day.
As for the battle for the overall standings, this first stage in the Alps did not bring any changes. One day earlier, the stage through the Piemont region and finishing in Torino had been all the more spectacular. The last 45 kilometres were one brutal elimination race between GC contenders, and this battle of attrition was held under temperatures above 30°C on a course that packed 4500 meters of ascending into a distance of fewer than 150 kilometres. While neither Mikel Landa nor Pello Bilbao could match the pace of their fastest rivals in the finale, they united forces to limit their losses. As a consequence, Mikel Landa is placed in 4th in GC at 59 seconds from the leader with Pello Bilbao following in 6th place.
The 105th Giro d’Italia continues on Tuesday with a mountain stage from Salo to Aprica. After lots of sunny and hot days, the weather is expected to change with thunderstorms and rain becoming more frequent.
105TH GIRO D’ITALIA
STAGE 13: SANREMO - CUNEO, 150KM
1. Arnaud Démare, FRA, in 3:18.16 hours
2. Phil Bauhaus, GER/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, st
3. Mark Cavendish, GBR, st
STAGE 15: RIVAROLO CANAVESE - COGNE, 177KM
1. Giulio Ciccone, ITA, in 4:37.41 hours
2. Santiago Buitrago, COL/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, + 1.31
3. Antonio Pedrero, ESP, + 2.19
TEAM CLASSIFICATION AFTER 15 STAGES:
1. Bora - Hansgrohe, GER, in 189:24.11 hours
2. TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, BHR, + 1.02
3. Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux, BEL, + 11.49