Team Bahrain Victorious showcased remarkable teamwork on Stage 17 of La Vuelta, which saw three riders finish in the top 10 as Mikel Landa secured an impressive 4th place, Wout Poels 5th, and Santiago Buitrago 8th. This collective effort has elevated Mikel Landa into the top 5 in the overall standings, while Buitrago moved into the top 10, with only four stages remaining.
Team leader Mikel Landa was happy with the way the day turned out:
“We had this stage marked from the beginning. Everyone was super motivated and focused on the plan. We did a great job, and everyone has been super.”
The team’s strategy to mark the stage was evident as Antonio Tiberi led them up the start of the last climb. Tiberi explained, “Today was a really fast stage, like almost every day. We did a really nice job from the next to the last climb. I did 3-4km of pulling, and after the downhill, I did another 6-7km of the last climb. After my effort, Damiano started the job.”
Team Bahrain Victorious sports director Neil Stephens praised the exceptional teamwork: “Today was a fantastic day for the team. Today at the team meeting, we said we’d try two things. One was that we’d try as hard as we could to win the stage; if we couldn’t do that, the other was to improve on General Classification. In the first half of the race, we saw that the breakaway would be quite difficult to get to the finish, and instead of sitting back and waiting to see what other teams would do, we decided to take control of the race and do things our way. Once we took control of the race, we knew that actual stage victory would be really hard, but once again, we didn’t want to sit back and shy away from work. We used all of our strength, and we had some fantastic firepower in our workers. We used all of them to the best of our ability, and the result was there.”
Stephens concluded, “Fantastic day today, I’m really proud of the boys, and we are ready to fight again tomorrow, to try to defend the General Classification, and most importantly, to try to get a stage win that has been avoiding us up till now.”