Sunday, February 14th, 2021 – Phil Bauhaus won the Tour de la Provence’s final stage in a technical finish in Salon-de-Provence, beating Davide Ballerini (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) to the line.
The final stage of 163.2 km started in Avignon and saw a breakaway go off with four riders early on, only to be caught with 2km to go.
The last few corners caused a frantic finish, as Heinrich Haussler took the lead for Bauhaus showing some impressive handling to keep the German up the front and out of trouble. Bauhaus showed his power going past Davide Ballerini as he kicked for the line and claimed the team’s first victory in 2021.
Bauhaus was delighted by the win: “It was a super-fast final, and the team did really really well today and wanted this result really really bad. I went for it, and I’m happy I could pass the guys at the front.”
“I knew I needed to be in front with 600 meters to go, and then I was strong enough to finish it off. It’s always good as a sprinter to win races. But I’m also happy for the team. It takes some pressure off us now we have that win. It gives us confidence for the next races.”
Sports Director Rolf Aldag was happy with the team’s performance: “Today the team executed the plan perfectly and were pretty confident that Phil could do it and he proved that this time last year that he can win. Everyone was dialed in and willing to help. We had two goals, to not lose time with Wout for the GC and win the stage with Phil. The early season victory takes the pressure off. It was a nice victory against some other world-class sprinters. We can be very happy with the day.”
“Overall, I think yesterday was a decisive stage, and we had three guys up there with Dylan, Wout, and Jack, and they also did well. For Wout, he showed he could close the gaps to Alaphilippe and Egan Bernal, which should give him a lot of self-confidence. So overall, we feel we are ready for the season.”
Team Bahrain Victorious also took two top 10 finishes, with Wout Poels claiming 4th after his impressive display on stage three, and Jack Haig just behind in 7th. Aldag, is happy with the early progress “Overall, I think yesterday was a decisive stage, and we had three guys up there with Dylan, Wout, and Jack, and they also did well. For Wout, he showed he could close the gaps to Alaphilippe and Egan Bernal, which should give him a lot of self-confidence. So overall, we feel we are ready for the season.”
(All pictures can be used for editorial and non-commercial usages only and are copyright @Bettiniphoto @TeamBahrainVictorious)
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