Victories in Slovenia and Switzerland
In the conclusive stages of the Tour de Suisse and the Tour Of Slovenia respectively, Team Bahrain Victorious got to celebrate victories by Gino Mäder and Phil Bauhaus. These wins capped off an impressive series of podium results for the riders in red and black.
After a cautious start the riders of Team Bahrain Victorious showed improving form as the Tour de Suisse went on. On Sunday, the team showed a collectively strong performance in the Queen’s stage over the passes Oberalp, Lucomagno and Gotthard. Soon after the start Wout Poels attacked and started his chase for KOM points. The Dutch rider was the first rider to cross both the Oberalp and the Lucomagno pass, but on the approach to the Gotthard as the final pass of this Tour de Suisse edition, he ran out of power. As Poels faded, Hermann Pernsteiner moved into the lead of the race only to be brought back on the cobbled ramps of the Tremola. Just before the Gotthard’s summit, Gino Mäder attacked from a small group of favourites, crested the Gotthard pass in 2nd place and closed the gap to Canadian Michael Woods on the descent towards the finish to win the two-up sprint convincingly. By winning the Queen’s stage, Mäder brought the stage race on home turf to a positive end.
The riders of Team Bahrain Victorious had been in an attacking mood the days before already, even if or maybe because they were out of contention for a good result in the overall standings. In the fifth stage Hermann Pernsteiner rode in the day’s breakaway for a long time only to be caught and passed by the group of favourites in the finale. He still got awarded as the day’s most attacking rider, and the Austrian climber continued to perform strongly the next day: A large breakaway took charge of things, and after a late attack by Fred Wright, Pernsteiner got away with two other riders, saw his late attack on the penultimate kilometer getting neutralised and had to settle for 3rd. And on the penultimate day of the Tour de Suisse, Team Bahrain Victorious left its mark at the demanding individual time trial over the Oberalp pass: Gino Mäder rode a strong race against the clock and only got beaten by Rigoberto Uran and Julian Alaphilippe to finish the stage in 3rd.
The Tour of Slovenia also came to a close with a jubilant Team Bahrain Victorious: The riders in red and black kept the breakaway in check throughout the conclusive stage of the race and made no mistakes in the finale: No less than five riders formed a leadout train for Phil Bauhaus, and the German sprinted to his second stage win of the race. In his wake Heinrich Haussler as his final leadout rider crossed the finish line in 3rd, helping Matej Mohoric to win the points’ classification. After all the Slovene rider was ahead of Jon Aberasturi by only one point. Matej Mohoric had laid the foundation to this success with two consecutive 2nd places in stages 2 and 3 when Phil Bauhaus had been dropped and Mohoric contested the bunch sprints instead, performing well above expectations. The only stage that proved too hard for Matej Mohoric was the fourth stage with the very steep final ascent to Sveta Gora: Mohoric finished this stage in 8th place and dropped from 2nd to 7th in the overall standings on that day.
84TH TOUR DE SUISSE
STAGE 8: ANDERMATT - ANDERMATT, 159.5KM
1. Gino Mäder, SUI/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, in 4:06.25 hours
2. Michael Woods, CAN, st
3. Mattia Cattaneo, ITA, + 0.09
STAGE 7: DISENTIS SEDRUN - ANDERMATT, 23.2KM (ITT)
1. Rigoberto Uran, COL, in 36.02 minutes
2. Julian Alaphilippe, FRA, + 0.40
3. Gino Mäder, SUI/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, + 0.54
STAGE 6: FIESCH - DISENTIS SEDRUN, 130.1KM
1. Andreas Kron, DEN, in 3:14.52 hours
2. Rui Costa, POR, st
3. Hermann Pernsteiner, AUT/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, + 0.01
27TH TOUR OF SLOVENIA: STAGE 5: LJUBLJANA - NOVE MESTO, 175.3KM
1. Phil Bauhaus, GER/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, in 4:12.05 hours
2. Alex Edmondson, AUS, st
3. Heinrich Haussler, AUS/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, st
POINTS’ CLASSIFICATION, FINAL STANDINGS:
1. Matej Mohoric, SLO/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, 58 points
2. Jon Aberasturi, ESP, 57 points
3. Phil Bauhaus, GER/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, 53 points
Images Tour de Suisse: bettiniphoto.net
Images Tour of Slovenia: sportida.com