Bauhaus Takes Stage 1 at Tour de Hongrie

Team Bahrain Victorious got off to a great start at their first visit to the Tour de Hongrie as Phil Bauhaus sprinted to victory on Stage 1.

The 173km stage started in Siófok, featuring a relatively flat stage with only one category three climb. An early breakaway formed from about 20km into the race, and on the Igal climb, they had a gap of around three minutes. The peloton always managed the gap with several teams looking for the bunch sprint.

With around 7km to go, the race was all back together. The teams were then fighting for position in the lead out to the sprint. Bauhaus was able to launch his sprint and take the victory in Kaposvár. With the win, Bauhaus goes into the leader and the points jersey.

Tour de Hongrie 2021 – 42nd Edition – 1st stage Siofok – Kaposvar 177 km – 12/05/2021 – Phil Bauhaus (GER – Bahrain Victorious) – photo Igor Stancík/BettiniPhoto©2021

Bauhaus was delighted with the win: “It was a controlled race, and everyone expected the bunch sprint. We were really good together, and we executed our goals well. In the last corner, with 1.2km to go, I needed to be in front, and I made my way up to the front, and I could fight for the good wheels. I felt really good, and I still had a lot of power for the sprint to go for the win.

It’s good news for the team following the bad news from the Giro with Mikel. I hope it gives everyone morale for the next days for the guys at the Giro, and it’s important for our team in general.”

Tour de Hongrie 2021 – 42nd Edition – 1st stage Siofok – Kaposvar 177 km – 12/05/2021 – Ahmed Madan (BRN – Bahrain Victorious) – photo Igor Stanc’k/BettiniPhoto©2021

It was also the first race for the first Bahraini rider Ahmed Madan, who was happy to make his debut and for the team to win: “It was a perfect first day of racing with the team. All the guys were really welcoming and helpful with my first race. The team all stayed together, and I was moving well with the team. I pulled back when the pace picked up for the sprint, but the guys did a perfect job and took the win.

After the race, we heard the news about Mikel’s crash, and I really hope he recovers soon.”

— Simona Mazzoleni to bahraincyclingteam.com

Tratnik 5th on Stage 4 as Landa makes first move in the battle for GC

Stage 4 of the Giro d’Italia didn’t disappoint as the GC battle was brought to life by Mikel Landa on the final climb. It was a long and gruelling day in the saddle from Piacenza to Sestola, with riders taking on 187km in the pouring rain.

The stage started with an early breakaway of over 20 riders, including Jan Tratnik. The break saw two riders attack with the gap from the peloton going over 6 minutes as they took a minute over the rest of the breakaway.

With 20km to go, and on the final descent, Bahrain Victorious took control with the descending expertise of Matej Mohorič while Rafael Valls pushed the pace on the climbs causing riders to fall off the back of the group. The opportunity came with 4km to go, and Landa was the first of the GC favourites to attack, dropping some of the big favourites.

The accelerations came a bit too late for the stage victory, but it ignited the GC. Tratnik held on to 5th after being in the breakaway all day, while Landa took time off some of his rivals in the GC.

Giro d’Italia 2021 – 104th Edition – 4th stage Piacenza – Sestola 187 km – 11/05/2021 – Jan Tratnik (SLO – Bahrain Victorious) – photo Tommaso Pelagalli/BettiniPhoto©2021

Joe Dombrowski (UAE Team Emirates) managed to win the stage in the breakaway while Alessandro De Marchi (Israel Start-Up) moved into the Maglia Rosa.

Gorazd Štangelj, Head Sports Director, commented on the strong ride from the team today:
“Let’s say that today’s stage was a kind of strange one. This morning, we knew that it might be difficult to predict what would happen in a stage like that and riding this kind of stage under heavy rain and hard conditions. Everybody was sure that the Maglia Rosa would get a new owner, so nobody could’ve been sure who will control the race and what will happen. It was normal that 25 riders went in a breakaway out of, let’s say, potential and possible GC, and I maybe do not completely agree with the tactics of some strong teams, but then, we did our race. In the end, I may say that we tried to race in the best possible way to arrive in the finale aggressively. We were aware that Mikel had good legs and that we have a strong team, and I find it important to mention that Jan Tratnik managed to go successfully in the breakaway and had a great race. But unfortunately, the final kilometres were a bit too steep for him to bring home something more. The whole team did a great job today, and all our riders did their job, and even more than that was. We really rode as one”.

Mikel Landa shared his thoughts after the stage: “It was all day up and down, and the weather also made the race difficult. In the end, I look at my rivals, and I didn’t see looking good faces around me, so I tried. After the stage, I can smile, but 20 km before the finish line, I didn’t smile at all. I hope to recover a bit, and then we will have to face a challenging stage again, tomorrow and further on”.

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

— Simona Mazzoleni to bahraincyclingteam.com

Urška Žigart attacks to take a spectacular debut victory for Team BikeExchange on the final stage of Setmana Ciclista Valenciana – Team BikeExchange

Slovenian rider Urška Žigart gave Team BikeExchange something to celebrate on today’s final stage of Setmana Ciclista Valenciana, attacking to take her first victory of the 2021 season in impressive style, with a strong and convincing solo move, with teammate Arianna Fidanza winning the bunch sprint behind for second place.

After some bad luck with crashes yesterday, Team BikeExchange started the final stage on the offensive, sending Teniel Campbell into an early move, which headed in hot pursuit of an early solo escapee, Nadine Gill. Campbell’s move was eventually brought back yet the squad remained attentive, and it was up to 24-year-old Zigart to take the next opportunity.

Ahead of the penultimate climb of the day, with more than 70km still to race, the Slovenian attacked away from the bunch and quickly bridged across to the sole leader Gill. The duo worked together to increase their advantage out to more than three and a half minutes before Zigart launched away from her breakaway companion with 25km remaining.  

Pushing on with every pedal stroke over the undulating terrain, the new 2021 signing was able to hold on to take a classy debut victory for the team, holding off the chasers by a slim margin of five seconds, wrapping up a successful four-days of racing in Valencia.

Urška Žigart – Stage 4 winner
“When I was about six kilometers to the finish, the gap was coming down really fast because they were preparing for the sprint from the back. At that time, I was thinking I am not going to make it, they’re going too fast, and I had a headwind, but my director was yelling in my ear to push through and telling me I can do it and to believe and I made it so I am very happy.

We wanted a bit more with the GC but that was more or less decided on the first day. We were really happy with Arianna taking third place two days ago and of course today we took first place and second place, so to have one-two on such a hard stage it is really good, and we can go ahead into the next week of Spanish races very confident.”

Alejandro Gonzales-Tablas – Sport Director
“It was an amazing day and finally we had a bit of luck. The team rode awesomely and Urška took her opportunity, a move that doesn’t happen so often but when it happens it feels the best. 
With Arianna in second place, it proves one more time what she is capable of. It has been an amazing week where we can take lots of confidence in to the next races we have here in Spain.”

2021 Setmana Ciclista Valenciana stage 4 results:
1. Urška Žigart (Team BikeExchange) 3:30:13
2. Arianna Fidanza (Team BikeExchange) +0:05
3. Sheyla Gutierrez +0:05

Final General Classification Results:
1. Annemiek van Vleuten 13:18:57
2. Mavi Garcia +2:16
3. Katrine Aalerud +2:30
11. Janneke Ensing +2:37

Photo courtesy of Bettini Images

— Team BikeExchange to www.greenedgecycling.com

Fidanza sprints to her first podium of the season on stage two in Setmana Ciclista Valenciana – Team BikeExchange

An aggressive Team BikeExchange were rewarded with a strong third place for Arianna Fidanza as stage two of Setmana Ciclista Valenciana came down to a bunch sprint.
The team were active throughout the 130km stage with Spaniard Ane Santesteban forcing an early break before being joined by teammate Urška Žigart in a counterattacking move. However, the group was soon brought back and despite several attacks, only one rider managed to escape.
The lone attacker established an advantage of more than three minutes as riders continued to attack the peloton behind, but with 30km remaining the chasing bunch were closing in. New Zealand champion Georgia Williams was tasked with leading the chase and the race eventually came back together with five kilometres remaining.
26-year-old Fidanza was positioned well for the sprint and took a strong third place, her first podium of the season, behind a photo finish with the victory going to Sandra Alonso.
Ariana Fidanza
“The sprint was nervous so I decided to start my sprint at 300 metres to go but it was too early because there was headwind into the finish straight.

In the end I am happy because it’s a good result and I am happy that today I had the chance to have a go for a result myself and for the team as they gave me confidence and trust.

The team was strong all day today, we always were together, racing well and tried to do our best. It was a hard race with some climbs and also with warm weather.

This is my first podium of the season for Team BikeExchange and this gives me confidence for the next races where I’ll continue to try to do my best, help my teammates and race well as a team.”

Alejandro Gonzales-Tablas – Sport Director
“Today was a great result for Arianna without any doubt and also a very strong ride by the whole team, we raced aggressively all day and had all riders in several moves.
Arianna has just shown a bit of what she is capable of and I am confident we’ll see more soon.”

2021 Setmana Ciclista Valenciana stage 2 results:
1. Sandra Alonso 3:42:59
2. Sheyla Gutierrez ST
3. Arianna Fidanza (Team BikeExchange) ST
General Classification after stage 2:
1. Annemiek van Vleuten 7:03:51
2. Mavi Garcia +2:10
3. Katrine Aalerud +2:27
12. Janneke Ensing +2:31

 Photo – Setmana Ciclista Valenciana/Vicent Brava

— Team BikeExchange to www.greenedgecycling.com

Lozano shy of the top 30 in a very tough stage two at Vuelta Asturias

Sport Director, Massimo Podenzana (ITA)

“If yesterday was hard, today was harder. Over 200km of route crossing several climbs including a second category climb, another one of third category and the last one, less than 15km from the finish line, of first category.

The guys worked together to help David and Peter. The second half of the race was very challenging, David found himself alone and did his best to finish in a good position.”

David Lozano (ESP)

“Today was very very tough. The last climb was brutal and didn’t have that extra push to stay with the front group. I felt better than yesterday and the team did a good job in supporting me and Peter.

The legs today were good, my form is growing day after day. I’m ready to give it all tomorrow!”

— Alice Podenzana to www.teamnovonordisk.com