Bahrain Victorious riders had a successful week in the National Championships. Jan Tratnik won the TT National Championships in Slovenia, followed by Matej Mohorič winning the road race. In Italy, Colbrelli continued his impressive form, becoming the Italian National Champion.
The Italian National Road Championship took place today on the tough course of the 2020 Imola World Championships. It saw all four Bahrain Victorious Italian riders participating (Capecchi, Caruso, Colbrelli and Milan) with the ambitious aim to win the race. Thanks to the precious support of his teammates, Sonny was able to be in the best position in the critical moment of the day. Sonny showed his power accelerating up to join the race leaders in the final. He then responded to attacks from his rival Masnada and beat him at the finish in Imola.
Sonny Colbrelli commented after winning his first National road title:
“It’s a magical moment. It repays me of all the times I was so close to winning the Italian Championships in the past. I missed this success too many times, but today I was even too perfect. I prepared at best for the Tour de France, and I didn’t know what to expect from this race. Sometimes I suffer the return to racing after training at high-altitude. It was also a hot day, and I must admit that I didn’t feel well for the first three hours. But then I started feeling better, and although it was a challenging course, I knew that it could suit me in a sprint finish. And above all, I wanted this victory very much. When I saw Masnada attacking, I tried to get back to him and the leading group, and I succeeded. Then it was all about resisting Masnada’s accelerations on the final climb. He was trying to go solo to avoid a two-man sprint finish with me, knowing I was the strongest. In the end, it was exactly like that. I could easily sprint to win. I’m so happy. Thank you to my family for the ongoing support. Thank you to the team that helped me to achieve this win that I’ve been chasing for years”.
Within an hour, it was more good news for Bahrain Victorious as Matej Mohorič won his second Slovenian road title with a solo win in Koper.
Mohorič couldn’t be more than happy to bring back the Slovenian Champion jersey to the team: “The National Championship is always a messy race. It is a mixed field, so usually, there is always a high pace start and a selection of the strongest guys. That is what also happened this time. Jan Tratnik and I managed to make our way to the first group we were with, Polanc and Pogacar from UAE. It was a pretty good situation for us. Then, later on, Dome Novak tried to bridge from the second group. That gave us a reason not to ride anymore in the front and rest up a bit. After that, Pogacar tried to attack on the climb, but I chose not to follow him. Instead, I made my way back on the descent, but after that, I was exhausted. I counter-attacked immediately to give Jan reason not to ride. Then we could make a gap with Polanc, and on the last lap, we went all-in on the climb. It’s an important win for me. Thank you to my teammates for the support. I’m proud of wearing the National jersey from now on”.
It’s the third time that a rider of the team wears the Slovenian National road jersey: Domen Novak won it in 2019 and Matej Mohorič in 2018. While Jan Tratnik won his third Slovenian TT Championship beating Jan Polanc (+9″) and Tadej Pogacar (+34″).
Jan Tratnik commented on his third success at the National TT:
“I came here with many races in my legs, so I didn’t know how my performance could be. But I wanted to participate in the National because I like this event. I just went intending to have fun, although, in the end, I must admit it was not so pleasant, as it was hard and a lot of suffering. Anyway, I had enough power to take first place. I’m very happy. It’s nice to win and wear the National Champion jersey”.
To round off those successes at the National Championships, Marco Haller took the silver medal at the Austrian National Championships. He was part of the breakaway but couldn’t manage to join the final attack of Patrick Konrad (BORA-Hansgrohe), and he finished in second place 34″ adrift.
Bahrain Victorious is heading to the Tour de France with Sonny Colbrelli and Matej Mohorič kitted out in their new ALE National kits on the Grande Boucle roads.
(All pictures can be used for editorial and non-commercial usages only and are copyright @Bettiniphoto @KZS/ Aleš Fevžer @TeamBahrainVictorious)
— Simona Mazzoleni to bahraincyclingteam.com