First in the team and mountain classification
On the second race day of the Tour de France, Team Bahrain Victorious is leading the team classification, and thanks to some attacking riding its Dutch climber Wout Poels managed to reclaim the polka dot jersey. As for the overall standings, Pello Bilbao currently sits in 10th position and may well move up.
After having lost Jack Haig as its designated captain for the overall standings early on, Team Bahrain Victorious changed its strategy for the Tour de France. And the team got rewarded for its aggressive racing with two spectacular solo stage wins courtesy of Matej Mohoric and Dylan Teuns. On the final day of racing before the first rest day, Sonny Colbrelli surprised friend and foe as he stubbornly kept himself in the large breakaway throughout the hardest Alpine stage ridden in cold and wet conditions. Colbrelli’s 3rd place finish in Tignes may well be one of the bigger surprises of this year’s race. Colbrelli also performed very well at the intermediate sprints, but he had problems to get into a promising position in the frantically contested bunch sprints, missing out on precious points. Due to this he’s been losing precious points in the fight for the green jersey.
Other riders of Team Bahrain Victorious were in an attacking mood in the second week of racing: Wout Poels, Dylan Teuns and Matej Mohoric in particular repeatedly made it into the right breakaway. Thanks to this Wout Poels managed to win a lot of KOM points in stage 14 before having to let the fastest rivals go up the road and contest for the stage win. In the 15th stage Matej Mohoric could be seen leading out uphill sprints for his Dutch team mate twice. Thanks to this assistance and some considerable grit, Wout Poels collected plenty of points on the way to Andorra to reclaim the fiercely-contested polka dot jersey of the best climber in the race. By finishing the first Pyrenees stage in 3rd, Wout Poels also added another podium result to the tally of his team at the Tour de France.
As for the overall standings Team Bahrain Victorious is betting on Pello Bilbao: While the Basque rider could not keep up with the fastest climbers so far, he continued at his own steady pace and thus managed to move up to 10th place in the overall standings. While he already may have lost more than 10 minutes to overall leader Tadej Pogacar, the deficit to 2nd place is only half as big. And Pello Bilbao is not the only rider in red and black to perform on a high level, with Dylan Teuns, Wout Poels, Matej Mohoric and Sonny Colbrelli also finishing far up in the day’s standings regularly. Thanks to this consistency Team Bahrain Victorious goes into the 2nd rest day of the Tour de France as the leaders in the team classification. This is not only an indicator of a collectively strong performance by the team’s riders, but also of the reliability of the equipment used and the MERIDA BIKES in particular.
108TH TOUR DE FRANCE
STAGE 15: CÉRET - ANDORRA LA VELLA (191.3KM)
1. Sepp Kuss, USA, in 5:12.06 hours
2. Alejandro Valverde, ESP, + 0.23
3. Wout Poels, NED/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, + 1.15
STAGE 9: CLUSES - TIGNES, 144.9KM
1. Ben O'Connor, AUS, in 4:26.43 hours
2. Mattia Cattaneo, ITA, + 5.07
3. Sonny Colbrelli, ITA/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, + 5.34
CLIMBER’S CLASSIFICATION AFTER 15 STAGES:
1. Wout Poels, NED/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, 74 points
2. Michael Woods, CAN, 66 points
3. Nairo Quintana, COL, 64 points
3. Wout Van Aert, BEL, 64 points
TEAM CLASSIFICATION AFTER 15 STAGES:
1. TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, BHR, in 87:10.05 hours
2. EF Education Nippo, USA, + 11.37 minutes
3. AG2R Citroën Team, FRA, + 26.21 minutes