After top 3 results for Bahrain Victorious in each and every stage so far, Phil Bauhaus capped off an extraordinary day and week of teamwork at the Tour de Pologne, raising his arms in triumph in Rzeszów.
Behind him, Jonathan Milan, who had led him into the perfect position to launch his sprint, roared with delight as the German crossed the line ahead of Arnaud Démare (GFC) & Nikias Ardnt (DSM). It is the 28-year-old’s 19th career win and a 2nd at this race after stage 1 last year. After the stage, he acknowledged his strong form and paid tribute to his teammates.
“I had Jonny for the final leadout and I’m super happy I could finish it off. He’s proved these last few days (and this year on the track) that he’s super strong, and he left me in 1st position in the last 150m, and I’m super happy I could win.
In a bunch sprint, it’s not always about having the best legs; it’s also about the team, tactics, and timing. I was 2nd on day 1, and I’ve proved this year I’m one of the best sprinters in the world, so the team and I have always been confident that I can win a lot of races at WorldTour level. It was just a matter of time before I won again.
Bahrain had ridden at the head of the peloton all day, calmly bringing back an 8-man breakaway over the 178 westbound kilometres from Lańcut, as the race heads back towards Kraków. And once all the riders were back together with 3k left, Bahrain were still 4-strong.
Under the ‘flamme rouge’ it was Bauhaus & Milan vs Démare & Guarnieri. The Groupama-FDJ pair pulled for as long as they could before our red & orange jerseys left them behind. The Italian looked over his shoulder to check his teammate was on his wheel, then pulled off, leaving our sprint king to finish the job in style. He led from the front and finished in front.
Victory in Poland is ours at last, but as Phil reminded us after receiving his trophy on the podium, this race isn’t over yet …
“Now we hope our GC guys can do a good time trial tomorrow, and then on the last day, we expect another bunch sprint. My legs are good, I’m in great condition & I’m in one of the best teams in the world; we’ve proved that together as a team, we can win a lot of races, so I’ll hope to get another result in Krakow.“
Meanwhile in Spain, the team came through a crash marred finish on stage 2 of Vuelta a Burgos, and Santiago Buitrago defended his lead in General Classification.