Podium results at Tour de Romandie
The riders of Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS only seemed to get better throughout the one-week stage race Tour de Romandie: On Saturday, Damiano Caruso finished the Queen’s stage of the race in 3rd to move up to 3rd on GC as well, and on Sunday Nikias Arndt sprinted to a 2nd place in the conclusive stage.
With a pan-flat prologue, a hilly individual time trial, three stages with plenty of shorter climbs and the Queen’s stage featuring a 20 kilometre climb to the finish, the course of this year’s edition of the Tour de Romandie favoured versatile riders. Last year Gino Mäder had finished this Worldtour stage race in 2nd on GC. The Swiss rider returned to the race sharing the role as team captain with Damiano Caruso. With Nikias Arndt and Dusan Rajovic, Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS could rely on two fast riders for sprints as well, and Rainer Kepplinger, Filip Maciejuk and Johan Price-Pejtersen were riding in assisting roles. At the prologue, the times of all these riders were within 15 seconds, and at the end of the first stage, Nikias Arndt missed out on a top 10 result narrowly, crossing the finish line in 11th.
Both Damiano Caruso and Gino Mäder rode aggressively in the finale of the second stage before posting times within the top 10 at the next day's individual time trial. Thus they were well-positioned, heading into the Queen's stage that finished at the ski resort of Thyon 2000. With an aggregate of 4,300 meters of ascending and its 20 kilometre long and hard final climb, this stage was sure to give the overall standings a clear shape. The last of the early attackers were brought back early on, and overall leader Juan Ayuso showed signs of weakness on the lower slopes of the final ascent, provoking a flurry of attacks from various riders. The resulting changes in pace were too much for Gino Mäder, who got dropped by the group of GC contenders earlier than expected in wet and cold conditions.
Damiano Caruso, on the other hand, showed a strong performance: The experienced Italian chose not to counter all attacks right away but to continue at his own steady pace. Thanks to this tactic, he managed to keep himself at the sharp end of the race and only had to let Adam Yates and Thibaut Pinot go up the road and finish before him. Thanks to his 3rd place on the Queen's stage, he moved up to 3rd on GC as well. Another rider of the team who rode a strong final ascent was Rainer Kepplinger, moving up to 14th on GC as a consequence. The final stage, decided in a bunch sprint in Geneva, did not bring any changes to the overall standings anymore. Despite having to do without Dusan Rajovic and Johan Price-Pejtersen who could not take the start of the final stage, Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS managed to pilot Nikias Arndt into a promising position for the bunch sprint, and the German rider crossed the finish line in 2nd place.
Apart from the podium results in the two conclusive stages, Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS also got to celebrate a 3rd place on GC for Damiano Caruso and a 3rd place in the team classification of the Tour de Romandie. On Monday the team will start at the Eschborn-Frankfurt one-day race. Since this year's course is a bit harder, the line-up aims to cover scenarios reaching from a bunch sprint to a sprint of a small group of riders. Thus Phil Bauhaus and Edoardo Zambanini share the role as captain. Riding in their support are the likes of Yukiya Arashiro, Matevz Govekar, Fran Miholjevic, Hermann Pernsteiner and Sergio Tu.
76TH TOUR DE ROMANDIE: FINAL GENERAL CLASSIFICATION
1. Adam Yates, GBR, in 17:12.42 hours
2. Matteo Jorgenson, USA, + 0.19
3. Damiano Caruso, ITA/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, + 0.27
STAGE 4: SION - THYON 2000, 161.6KM
1. Adam Yates, GBR, in 4:40.41 hours
2. Thibaut Pinot, FRA, + 0.07
3. Damiano Caruso, ITA/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, + 0.19
STAGE 5: VUFFLENS-LA-VILLE - GENÈVE, 170.8KM
1. Fernando Gaviria, COL, in 3:58.01 hours
2. Nikias Arndt, GER/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, st
3. Ethan Hayter, GBR, st
Photos: Sprint Cycling Agency