Aug 28, 2023

Mohoric wins final stage at Renewi Tour

After a crash on the final kilometre of the penultimate stage, Fred Wright was forced to drop out of the Renewi Tour while being 5th on GC. One day later, Matej Mohoric made sure the race ended on a positive note by winning the final stage. On the same day, Phil Bauhaus added another podium result for Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS by sprinting to 2nd in the final stage of the Deutschland Tour.

In the week before the start of the Vuelta a España, Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS lined up for two stage races with the Renewi Tour held in Belgium and the Netherlands and the Deutschland Tour. The team had serious ambitions regarding both stage wins and the overall standings in both races. Matej Mohoric and Fred Wright were the co-captains at the Renewi Tour, with Jonathan Milan as the team’s protected rider for sprint decisions. As for the Deutschland Tour, Pello Bilbao was the team’s obvious GC captain, and Phil Bauhaus was the protected rider for bunch sprints. After nine stages and a prologue, the bottom line is pretty good.

At the Renewi Tour, Jonathan Milan could not finish higher than 15th against very strong competition in the bunch sprints. Fred Wright, on the other hand, rode an impressive stage 3 that resembled a scaled-down Ronde van Vlaanderen. In the end, he may have only crossed the finish line in Geraardsbergen in 6th place, but thanks to bonifications collected in the golden kilometre’s three consecutive intermediate sprints typical for this race, Wright moved up to 5th in the overall standings. But the next day, he was forced to abandon the stage race following a crash on the final kilometre of stage 4. Seemingly unfazed, Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS rode aggressively throughout the conclusive stage. For a long time, both Dusan Rajovic and Nicolo Buratti were part of a nine-rider breakaway that was brought back with 33 kilometres to go.

Things were heating up in the final hour racing of racing. Due to riders protesting the dangerous finale held on narrow and twisting roads, the times for the overall standings were taken with 5 kilometres to go, and the three Golden Kilometres sprints were cancelled as well, thus pretty much ending the fight for the overall standings. But as for the final stage win, Matej Mohoric showed some serious ambitions when he attacked hard with 17 kilometres to go, smashing a strong group of GC contenders to pieces. In the end, five riders were left to sprint for the stage win. Matej Mohoric opted to lock onto Matteo Trentin's rear wheel and got around the Italian to win the stage. As for the overall standings, Mohoric finished the Renewi Tour in 7th place.

As for the Deutschland Tour, Pello Bilbao missed out on a top 10 result on GC after conceding too much time in the opening prologue. As for the two harder stages for GC contenders, Bilbao finished in 5th and 17th, respectively. Phil Bauhaus fared better in the bunch sprints. After having waited a bit too long at the end of stage 3, he crossed the finish line in Essen in 4th. One day later, Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS decided to take charge of the conclusive stage in the streets of Bremen with three kilometres to go but ran out of steam on the final kilometre. Thus, Dutchman Arvid de Kleijn found a way past to win the stage, with Phil Bauhaus having to settle for 2nd.

As the third and last Grand Tour of the season, the Vuelta a España started this weekend in Barcelona. Unfortunately, the opening team time trial was plagued by heavy rain, causing a lot of crashes. Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS got away unscathed and finished in a strong 6th place, just 10 seconds off the winning time. In the finale of stage 2, Santiago Buitrago, as one of the team's GC co-captains, could not avoid a crash that happened just in front of him. Since the race organisers had decided to take the times for the overall standings with 9 kilometres to go before the race entered a local loop up the Montjuic climb, Buitrago had to dig deep to avoid an unnecessary time loss early on.     

1. Matej Mohoric, SVN/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, in 4:07.00 hours
2. Matteo Trentin, ITA, st
3. Søren Kragh Andersen, DEN, st

1. Arvid de Kleijn, NED, in 3:41.35 hours
3. Marius Mayrhofer, GER, st

Photos: Sprint Cycling Agency