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Santesteban climbs to 4th to catapult herself up to 2nd on the general classification in Ardeche – Team BikeExchange

Spanish climber Ane Santesteban has once again shown her continuously building form, by climbing to a strong fourth place on today’s summit finish stage at Cycliste Féminin de l’Ardeche. The strong performance on the tough 119.6km stage sees the 30-year-old climb the overall classification into second position.

Santesteban had teammate Lucy Kennedy by her side towards the final, on the penultimate climb, before Ruth Winder attacked away from the group and was able to hold off the chasers to take a solo victory.

Santesteban dug deep up the final first category ascent and was able to finish in fourth place, on the same time as race leader Leah Thomas who finished second place and third place Mavi Garcia

The Team BikeExchange rider will start tomorrow’s fifth stage in second place overall just nine seconds down on Thomas and on the same time as Garcia, who currently sits in third place.

Ane Santesteban – 4th place
“The team was awesome again today. They keep me out of trouble and out of the wind all day and the last two climbs were hard. There were some moves from the main general classification riders, and we had to control them

Today we actually had the plan to try to go for the stage win with Lucy Kennedy. The girls perfectly executed the plan, and she was able to get away. In the end, she missed some good legs but I’m sure she will find again her moment here and finish her career in the best way. This is the same place where everything started for her as a professional cyclist.

I am really motivated and feeling confidence for the next three stages. It’s so nice to see how strong we are as a team. That really helps me. Fourth place in the end today and now up to second place overall, so it is exciting.”

2021 Cycliste Féminin de l’Ardeche – Stage 4 results:
1. Ruth Winder 3:28:23
2. Leah Thomas +2:18
3. Mavi Garcia +2:18
4. Ane Santesteban (Team BikeExchange) +2:18

General Classification after stage 4:
1. Leah Thomas 13:44:39
2. Ane Santesteban (Team BikeExchange) +0:09
3. Mavi Garcia +0:09

Photo courtesy of Getty Images 

— Team BikeExchange to www.greenedgecycling.com

JACK HAIG FINISHES ON PODIUM AT VUELTA AS GINO MADER CROWNED BEST YOUNG RIDER AND TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS WIN TEAM CLASSIFICATION

It was another successful Grand Tour for Team Bahrain Victorious at La Vuelta, as Jack Haig secured a podium place in the GC. Gino Mäder, who worked tremendously hard to help Jack also found himself in the top 5 in GC and wearing the white jersey Santiago de Compostela. The teamwork at the race was also rewarded by winning the Best Team Classification, adding to the tally after winning the same prize at Tour de France.

After the incredible stage 20, it was only a 34km Time Trial to the finish in Santiago de Compostela, separating the riders from solidifying their positions at the start of the day. With Adam Yates (Ineos-Grenadiers) only a minute behind Haig, it was the biggest threat to the podium place for Haig.

Haig put on an impressive display over a challenging parkour with 600m of elevation, defending his lead and securing the third position, finishing 17th on the day, beating Yates. Gino Mader also secured the white jersey and fifth in GC.

Bahrain Victorious came into this race with the goal of a podium place, and in the end, the team finish the final Grand Tour of the season with the podium place in the GC, a stage win, the Best Young rider, and Best Team prize.

Vuelta Espana 2021 – 76th Edition – 21th stage Padron – Santiago de Compostela 33,8 km – 05/09/2021 – Primoz Roglic (SLO – Jumbo – Visma) – Enric Mas (ESP – Movistar Team) – Jack Haig (AUS – Bahrain Victorious) – photo Luis Angel Gomez/BettiniPhoto©2021

Jack Haig commented on his podium finish:” Its incredible, I was just speaking to my wife saying how you always dream of getting on a podium at a Grand Tour, but I really never knew it was possible or not. It’s amazing to move to Bahrain Victorious and then having the crash at Tour, and come here with no expectations, and be third on the podium. I have no words for it, and I want to thank everyone who got me here as it doesn’t just happen overnight. It’s not just a years work and there are so many people I’d like to thank along the way that helped me.

I will keep approaching racing the way I do, as long as I’m happy with the right people around me and enjoy it. If you’ve got that, then the results come, and I couldn’t be happier.”

Vuelta Espana 2021 – 76th Edition – 21th stage Padron – Santiago de Compostela 33,8 km – 05/09/2021 – Gino Mader (SUI – Bahrain Victorious) – photo Luis Angel Gomez/BettiniPhoto©2021

Gino Mäder was delighted with winning the best young rider: “Wow, it’s unbelievable for me, and the whole thing just fell into my hands yesterday. I was already happy before with my provisional 8th in GC and being amongst the best climbers in this race.

Now I’m sitting here in the white jersey having helped Jack on the podium and I’m a little bit lost for words. In the end it’s a fifth place, and there are a lot of really strong riders. It’s unexpected and maybe a bit too good, and I take it and I hope it’s not my last time in the top 5 in the GC.

Gorazd Štangelj:” We did some really amazing things here. We came here for Mikel after his success at Burgos, but unfortunately had some difficulty. We reacted fast and reset the roles in the team and the guys all did the maximum from the first to the last stage. Let’s look back at how windy it was in the first week which didn’t really suite us, and we struggled a lot on those days but we were able to do a great job with minimum losses. When the mountain stages came we got a victory with Damiano and then we had a good period.

We had a good plan for the next two weeks. I’m really happy for Gino to get this confirmation of his ability and for his future, he can be a GC rider. I was really sorry after Jack’s crash in Tour de France, but he bounced back and did a great job to get on the podium in the GC, which is a beautiful moment for him and the team.”

(All pictures can be used for editorial and non-commercial usages only and are copyright @Bettiniphoto @TeamBahrainVictorious)

— Simona Mazzoleni to bahraincyclingteam.com