The UAE tour’s final stage was another flat ride from Yas Mall through the desert, finishing in Abu Dhabi Breakwater. It would only be the threat of echelons on the stage that would change the GC standings with a sprint finish expected.
A breakaway of three riders formed early, building a lead of over three minutes from the peloton. It was 80km into the race when the pace picked up as echelons formed and a front group was established, including Bauhaus and Caruso. While the front group managed to catch the breakaway and gain a slight lead over the rest of the peloton, they were all back together by the 40km mark.
From then on, it was all set up for the sprint finish with a fierce pace set up at the front by a few teams. Phil Bauhaus was in a great position and managed to take a podium finish behind winner Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) and Sam Bennet (Deceuninck-QuickStep).
Phil Bauhaus: ” The sprints here are always super fast and stressful. The team could position me well, and I could fight for some good wheels. Unfortunately, I started my sprint a bit too late, so I couldn’t go for the win, but my legs were good, and my sprint was good, and I think it’s good for the team to get the podium result here.”
Sports Director Neil Stephens reflected on the team’s overall performance and his first experience with the team. “Obviously for me, it was a great honour to come to the UAE as part of Bahrain Victorious. We came here with guys who never raced together, such as Jack Haig and Jonathan Milan.
“Overall, we did quite well, running 7th in the GC. Obviously, the cross-winds on stage 1 dictated the overall, which took out Haig and Poels, which was unfortunate. However, it let us focus on two things: getting the best possible result with Damiano Caruso, which we did, and delivering Phil Bauhaus for a good sprint. Today’s 3rd place was a great reward for the team’s work, and Phil produced against many world-class sprinters here.
“In general, every day we raced together, we’ve got to know each other better, and it’s a decent result to run 7th overall and take a podium on the final stage. It’s also a positive step for the team looking towards the future.”
(All pictures can be used for editorial and non-commercial usages only and are copyright @Bettiniphoto @TeamBahrainVictorious)
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