13 mai 2024

Wout Poels wins final stage in Hungary

After more than two months without a win for Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, Wout Poels ended the drought on the final day of the Tour de Hongrie: The Dutchman crossed the finish line first after an uphill sprint and thus won the conclusive stage. As for the Giro d’Italia, Antonio Tiberi goes into the first rest day in 6th place on GC.

This year’s edition of the Tour de Hongrie served up two flat stages for the sprinters, two finishes with some steep but not overly long ramps and one proper mountaintop finish. Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS headed into this stage race with Wout Poels as its GC captain. For the sprint decisions, the team relied on Serbia’s national champion Dusan Rajovic and young Alberto Bruttomesso and Yukiya Arashiro, Lukasz Wisniowski and Cameron Scott were mainly riding in support. The first stage saw a large pile-up happening on the finishing straight, and luckily, the riders of Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS managed to steer clear of the mayhem. But in the finale of stage 2, Dusan Rajovic could not avoid a crash, so the team had to come up with a plan B. It did so by piloting Cameron Scott into the bunch sprint, and the Australian crossed the line in 7th place - an encouraging result within the top 10.

The Queen’s stage finished atop Kekesteto. As Wout Poels could not keep up with the most explosive climbers on the last kilometre, he crossed the finish line in 5th at 9 seconds of the stage winner. On the next day a select group of 35 riders competed for the stage win. The Dutchman of Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS did not contest the sprint and finished in 22nd. In the finale of the conclusive stage, a steep climb leading out of Pecs had to be ridden three times. "On the penultimate climb, I tried to split the group, but I could not do it and thus decided to save my energy and fully focus on the final ascent and the sprint for the stage win instead“, a visibly happy Wout Poels recollected right after the stage. 

At first, three other teams set the pace on that final ascent, while Wout Poels did not have any teammates to ride in his support anymore. But the experienced Dutchman kept his cool. "The pace was very high from the foot of that final ascent, and I was suffering a lot. When a small gap opened up I decided to stick to my pace and worked my way back to best climbers. Then I attacked with 150 meters to go, and my timing was perfect to blast past the riders in front of me and cross the finish line first“, Wout Poels explained on how the finale had unfolded. Thanks to this stage win, Poels moved up to 3rd on GC, and with a stage win and a podium result on GC, Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS pretty much achieved the goals it had set before the race.

As for this year’s edition of the Giro d’Italia, Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS has opted for Antonio Tiberi as its GC Captain and Damiano Caruso as the road captain who communicates between the riders and the team car. For bunch sprints, the team bets on Phil Bauhaus, with Andrea Pasqualon and Jasha Sütterlin as his lead-out team. Additional support for both the flats and, more importantly, the mountains comes from the likes of Rainer Kepplinger, Torstein Traeen and Edoardo Zambanini. Sadly Traeen got involved in a high-speed crash in the opening stage. The Norwegian managed to soldier on but had to abandon the stage race in stage 4.

After nine mostly animated stages, it’s time for the first rest day of the Giro d’Italia. After two mountaintop finishes, a tricky gravel stage and a long individual time trial, young Antonio Tiberi sits in 6th place in the overall standings. He also finished the time trial over 40 kilometres in the same position. The best stage result of Tiberi, who currently is placed 2nd in the young riders’ classification. came at the mountaintop finish in Prati di Tivo, where he crossed the finish line in 4th. The only rider of Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS to score an even better result was Phil Bauhaus: The German sprinter crossed the finish line in Andora at the end of stage 4 in 3rd place, thus scoring the team’s only podium result in the race to date. 


1. Wout Poels, NED/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, in 3:53.27 hours
2. Damien Howson, AUS, st
3. Emanuel Buchmann, GER, st

1. Thibau Nys, BEL, in 19:36.00 hours
2. Emanuel Buchmann, GER, + 0.12

1. Jonathan Milan, ITA, in 4:16.03 hours
2. Kaden Groves, AUS, st

Photos: Sprint Cycling Agency