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Bahrain Victorious Line Up for Tour de France

June 26th marks the start of the 108th edition of the Tour de France. Team Bahrain Victorious head to the race with a strong line-up and momentum off the back of a strong performance at the Giro d’Italia.

Jack Haig leads the line-up, with GC ambitions following his solid performance at the Dauphine. Along with GC ambitions, the team is positioned to race proactively with potential stage winners, such as 2019 stage winner Dylan Teuns, Sonny Colbrelli off the back of an impressive performance at the Dauphiné, and Matej Mohorič, who showed his versatility at the Tour of Slovenia. Wout Poels and Pello Bilbao line up to support in the high mountains. Two riders who have demonstrated they can place high in the GC, evident by their top 10 finishes in Grand Tours last year. For the flat stages, experienced road captain Marco Haller and young Fred Wright will provide their support.

The Route
The 21 stage race starts in Brest, covering 3,383 kilometres before the iconic finish on the Champs Elysee in Paris. In between, the race will feature two Time Trials, with the second on the penultimate stage, like last year’s edition.

Two fast finishes on the opening stages that suit puncheurs and versatile climbers – an early opportunity for Sonny or Dylan to move into Yellow. The first GC battle starts on Stage 5, with a 27.2 kilometre Time Trial from Changé to Laval Espace Mayenne.

Stage 9 will be the hardest of the stages ahead of the first rest day. The riders take on five categorised climbs, with a gruelling finish up the 21-kilometre climb of Montée de Tignes, averaging 5.6%. From there, Stage 11 will be another testing day, as riders climb the iconic Mont Ventoux twice, with the second route to the top being a 15.7-kilometre climb averaging 8.8%.

The GC battle will be in full force with two back to back summit finishes on Stages 17 and 18. Stage 17 from Muret goes over two cat 1 climbs before the Hors Categorie climb Col du Portet, 16 kilometres long averaging 8.7%. Things don’t get easier on stage 18 with a 130-kilometre stage, with two Hors Categorie climbs, finishing atop Luz Arididen.

The final fight for yellow, like last year, will come on the penultimate stage – a 30.8 kilometre Time Trial from Libourne to Saint Emilion. The flatter profile compared to last year may not see significant time gaps eaten up. However, it can still shake the final positions in the GC ahead of the final stage into Paris and ultimately decide this year’s winner.

Performance Director, Roger Hammond said: “The team comes to the Tour following great performances. Our selection of riders puts us in good stead to battle for GC and be proactive across other stages.

Obviously, after the Dauphiné, there was the temptation to take Mark Padun to the Tour. The same goes for Gino Mäder after his Giro and Tour de Suisse wins. However, these are young talents in the team with other goals this season, and the team has a responsibility to look at the longer-term project for these riders.”

Sport Director, Rolf Aldag commented on the selection and race strategy: “The whole team is super motivated to entertain fans of cycling all around the world with an aggressive way of racing. The TDF is the biggest stage for us to show our passion, commitment and desire to race. We take a lot of confidence into the Tour from the results we achieved as a team in 2021 and will fight to keep the spirit high. Our team is prepared to take on every single stage, like one-day races. The eight riders who are representing the team all showed that they deserve a place in the race, but let’s not forget our strong riders who are serving as reserves, for now, ready to jump-in, in case we need them.”

— Simona Mazzoleni to bahraincyclingteam.com

Bahrain Victorious Double on Final Stages at Tour of Slovenia and Tour de Suisse

Bahrain Victorious took two victories on the same day, with Phil Bauhaus sprinting to success for his second stage win at Tour of Slovenia, while Gino Mäder’s perfectly timed move on the queen stage of Tour de Suisse saw him take the win.

In Slovenia, for the second time, Bauhaus was lead out superbly by his teammates to the final sprint and made no mistake winning by a clear margin. The last man of the lead out, Henrich Haussler, finished strongly and rounded off the podium on the final stage. Matej Mohoric also was rewarded for his strong performances throughout the five-stage race, securing the points jersey for Team Bahrain Victorious.

Phil BAUHAUS of BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS during the 5th Stage of 27th Tour of Slovenia 2021 cycling race between Ljubljana and Novo mesto (175,3 km), on June 13, 2021 in Slovenia. Photo by Matic Klansek Velej / Sportida

Phil Bauhaus was delighted with his fifth win of the season so far:
“It’s incredible. The team did a fantastic job once again today. We did the last two km pulling on the front, and then it was a perfect one into the finish: Haussler, as the last lead-out man, brought me in the first position 200 metres to go, and from there, I could start my sprint in an ideal condition. Happily, it was a good one!”

Overall best in points classification Matej MOHORIC of BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS celebrates at trophy ceremony during the 5th Stage of 27th Tour of Slovenia 2021 cycling race between Ljubljana and Novo mesto (175,3 km), on June 13, 2021 in Slovenia. Photo by Vid Ponikvar / Sportida

Matej Mohorič reflected on the race:
“We are delighted to conclude the Tour of Slovenia like that, with Phil’s win and my red jersey.
I think we can look forward to the Tour de France, where I will target the stage wins”.

At the Tour de Suisse, Gino Mäder secured his second win of the season on the queen stage. After his podium finish in yesterday’s TT, Gino put in a perfectly timed move over the final climb to move away from the GC group and beat Michael Woods (Israel Start-Up Nation) to the line.

Tour de Suisse 2021 – 85th Edition – 8th stage Andermatt – Andermatt 159,5 km – 13/06/2021 – Gino Mader (SUI – Bahrain Victorious) – photo Peter De Voecht/PN/BettiniPhoto©2021

Gino Mäder shared his happiness, especially for taking a win in his homeland:
“I was looking forward to this stage. I wanted to finish off my home race with a win, and I achieved it. The team worked well from the beginning, with Wout Poels in the breakaway, then Hermann Pernsteiner jumping across to him and having two riders in the front was perfect. All the other teammates were helping me behind, bringing food and water and mental support as well. They positioned me perfectly into the last climb. It was incredible teamwork from everybody”.

Tour de Suisse 2021 – 85th Edition – 8th stage Andermatt – Andermatt 159,5 km – 13/06/2021 – Passo del Gottardo – Gino Mader (SUI – Bahrain Victorious) – photo Peter De Voecht/PN/BettiniPhoto©2021

Team Technical Director Vladimir Miholjević commented on this fantastic day for the team: “There are not a lot of days that a team could enjoy a double victory. Today we had the privilege to enjoy it. From Slovenia to Switzerland, everything worked perfectly today. Great work from all team members, both staff and riders. Significant commitment and trust in the team and themselves. I can only express joy and gratitude to each staff member for their effort, as they are also part of the team success. We’re more than happy and proud. We’re eager to continue with the hard work and the improvement, as we always have some objectives in front of us. Not simple to reach, but let’s go and find the way towards our most significant goals.”

Tour de Suisse 2021 – 85th Edition – 8th stage Andermatt – Andermatt 159,5 km – 13/06/2021 – Gino Mader (SUI – Bahrain Victorious) – photo Heinz Zwicky/BettiniPhoto©2021

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

— Simona Mazzoleni to bahraincyclingteam.com

Bahrain Victorious set to “Fight for green” at 27th Tour of Slovenia

After last year’s cancellation, the biggest cycling event in Slovenia is returning. The 27th Tour of Slovenia cycling race will run from June 9th until June 13th across five stages and numerous new routes and destinations. 
The fight for the green jersey will begin at Ptuj and end in Novo Mesto.  Riders will race across 803.7 km over the five days. The 27th edition will have two highlights. One will be the ascent to Celje’s Castle, and the other the queen ascent to Sveta Gora.

Gorazd Štangelj commented ahead of the race: “We are going to the race with leader Matej. For him, stages two, three, and four are more suitable than the first and last. We expect a good result from Phil Bauhaus in the sprints. Matej has checked all the stages.  The decisive day for the GC will be Saturday’s stage at Sveta Gora. Like every year, in this so-called “home race”, we have high expectations. We are looking forward to the start on Wednesday.

The first stage Ptuj – Rogaška Slatina, brings an opportunity for the sprinters. We will try to support Phil Bauhaus to give him the best possible conditions to lead out for a bunch sprint. The objective is to control, win a stage and take a leader’s jersey. Second stage Žalec – Celje, whose ascent to Celje’s Castle is one of the race highlights, will show who are the main candidates for the overall victory. In the third very varied stage Brežice – Krško, the demanding and complicated finale calls for a punchy and open strategy, and it will be difficult to control. The objective in both stages is to race aggressively into the finale.

The decisive day will be the queen stage, which brings a steep ascent to Ravnica (3.2 km with an average ascent of 9.5%) in the last 15 km and, after a short descent, the finish of 2.5 km with an average ascent of 13% to the famous Sveta Gora.  On Sunday, the last day of the Tour of Slovenia, the 5th stage starts in Ljubljana and follows tradition, finishing in Novo Mesto, where the bunch sprint of the main group is expected. Like 1st stage, this will be an opportunity for Phil Bauhaus.”

Matej Mohorič, fortunately with no significant consequences after he fell on Giro, said: “I am fully recovered after a crash in Giro, and I will use Tour of Slovenia as final preparation before Tour of France. I am looking forward to racing again and having an opportunity to compare myself with the others. Racing in front of home fans is always an extra motivation!”

With two natives on board, TBV riders are Phil Bauhaus, Heinrich Haussler, Kevin Inkelaar, Jonathan Milan, Marcel Sieberg, Matej Mohorič and Jan Tratnik.

— Simona Mazzoleni to bahraincyclingteam.com

Mark Padun Victorious on Queen Stage at Dauphiné

Mark Padun secured his first WorldTour win on Stage 7 of the Critérium du Dauphiné, showing impressive climbing on La Plagne. Jack Haig also put in a strong performance finishing fourth on the stage and moving up into the top five in GC.

The Queen stage was set to be a decisive fight in the GC, with the riders taking on 3,980 vertical meters, including two Hors Categorie climbs. An early breakaway formed that included Marco Haller. The breakaway managed to stay away until the final climb, with around 10 kilometres remaining by a reduced peloton.

An attack from Richie Porte (Ineos Grenadiers) sparked the GC fight, but it was Mark Padun who latched onto the move with Seb Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) and Enric Mas (Movistar). Padun and Kuss pushed on, leaving the other two behind. It looked to be a battle between the two, but Padun kicked on one more time, dropping Kuss and riding up solo to take the victory on La Plagne.

Mark Padun: “It’s incredible and an incredible moment for me. First of all, it’s my first WorldTour victory and on one of the hardest stages of Dauphine when everyone is going so fast.

Also, in the last six stages, I felt so bad on the bike during the race, and I thought it would be impossible for me to finish the race, and today I arrived first. When I crossed the finish line, I had the feeling like I need to wake up now, but it’s not a dream.

Criterium du Dauphine 2021 – 73rd Edition – 7th stage Saint Martin le Vinoux – La Plagne 171,1 km – 05/06/2021 – Mark Padun (UKR – Bahrain Victorious) – Jack Haig (AUS – Bahrain Victorious) – photo Dario Belingheri/BettiniPhoto©2021

I thought I might arrive with the top 20 guys, and when Richie Porte attacked, I tried to close the gap as I had our leader Jack Haig in the group. I saw we had a gap with four riders, and I thought, why not, maybe they will show me on TV for my mother, and I attacked.

Then it was just me and Seb Kuss, and when I saw him drop, I just decided to go full gas to the finish and hope no one would catch me. Thanks to my team that believed in me.”

Criterium du Dauphine 2021 – 73rd Edition – 7th stage Saint Martin le Vinoux – La Plagne 171,1 km – 05/06/2021 – Mark Padun (UKR – Bahrain Victorious) – photo Dario Belingheri/BettiniPhoto©2021

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

— Simona Mazzoleni to bahraincyclingteam.com