Stage win for Dylan Teuns at Dauphiné
The BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM headed for the Critérium du Dauphiné with the clear objective to win stages. Thanks to a strong performance by Dylan Teuns this goal has been met after only two stages. At other races, Matej Mohoric finished on the podium twice this weekend.
The Critérium du Dauphiné stage race is considered an important test for the Tour de France and is being organized for the 71st time this year. While the three conclusive stages of the race lead through the Alps of the Haute Savoye region, the organizers have decided to try something new by starting the race in the Massif Central. The BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM is fielding a decidedly international team for the eight-day race, with its seven riders coming from six countries. The main focus of the team is on Sonny Colbrelli as the team’s sprint specialist and Dylan Teuns as the captain for the overall standings. These two can rely on the support of Chun-kai Feng, Mark Padun, Hermann Pernsteiner, Luka Pibernik and Jan Tratnik. The first stage already featured an undulating profile with a solid number of climbs. Three riders tried to outwit the peloton with a long-range attack in the finale, but they were caught on the last kilometre. A thinned-out peloton of 61 riders approached the finish line to sprint for the win. Unfortunately, another rider bumped into Sonny Colbrelli and kept him from accelerating properly, so he crossed the finish line in 6th.
With three climbs of the 2nd category, four of the 3rd category and a fourth-category climb over a distance of 180 kilometres, the profile of the second stage looked like a proper Ardennes classic. Rain and low temperatures made for even harder conditions, and early on a 13-rider lead group including some big names went up the road. The peloton decided to keep this group on a short leash, and the last attackers were caught with about 35 kilometres to go. From there the race was on and another group of riders went on the attack. Dylan Teuns and Guillaume Martin made good use of this group as their springboard, accelerating away on the final categorized climb. The duo cooperated well to defend its lead over the remaining 18 kilometres, chased by a high-quality group of overall contenders. Teuns took the lead into the final kilometre and almost got caught by surprise by Martin who went around him in the last corner, but he managed to claw back the Frenchman and pass him with a long and powerful sprint. Thanks to his stage win the Belgian also took over the leader’s jersey.
For Teuns it was the first win since joining the team, and for the BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, it was the fourth win of the season. «I’m super happy with this win. This is a special one as I had to wait almost 24 months for it. The pace was very high from the start, also because of an early attack by a strong group. And the weather made things even harder», Dylan Teuns commented before the podium ceremony. «From where we attacked on the final categorized climb, Guillaume Martin and I cooperated really well all the way into the final kilometre, and then things came down to a fight man against man. Getting to wear the leader’s jersey of the Dauphiné is a dream getting real.»
On Sunday some other riders in red, gold and dark blue had been competing in Switzerland at the GP Lugano one-day race, won by Hermann Pernsteiner one year ago. Seen the course, Matej Mohoric and Vincenzo Nibali were most likely to score a good result, and they could rely on the support of Andrea Garosio, Antonio Nibali, Domen Novak and Meiyin Wang. As the race proceeded a strong six-rider group set off up front with Mohoric and Nibali, and Vincenzo Nibali and Diego Ulissi rode clear from this group. But on the last lap of the local circuit, these two were brought back, and then the rain set in on the final descent into Lugano. Nibali decided to ride in support of his younger teammate as the stronger sprinter, but Matej Mohoric did not have the necessary acceleration to finish better than in 3rd. One day earlier Mohoric had finished on the podium as well, scoring a 2nd place at Slovenia’s national time trial championships. Just like his BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM teammate Jan Tratnik who finished 3rd as defending champion, he was beaten by Slovenia’s prodigy Tadej Pogacar.
71ST CRITÉRIUM DU DAUPHINÉ, STAGE 2: MAURIAC - CRAPONNE-SUR-ARZON, 180KM
1. Dylan Teuns, BEL/BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, in 4:12.41 hours
2. Guillaume Martin, FRA, st
3. Jakob Fuglsang, DEN, + 0.13
GRAN PREMIO CITTÀ DI LUGANO: LUGANO - LUGANO, 179.2KM
1. Diego Ulissi, ITA, in 4:43.36 hours
2. Alexandr Riabushenko, BLR, st
3. Matej Mohoric, SVN/BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, st
NATIONAL SLOVENIAN ITT CHAMPIONSHIPS: LJUBLJANA - LJUBLJANA, 43KM
1. Tadej Pogacar, SVN, in 49.34 minutes
2. Matej Mohoric, SVN/BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, + 0.29
3. Jan Tratnik, SVN/BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, + 0.45