AFTER two consecutive second-place finishes, Phil Bauhaus claimed Bahrain McLaren’s first victory in stage 3 of the Saudi Tour yesterday.
The excellent display of teamwork was evident throughout as they brought Mark Cavendish back to the peloton after the climb, who alongside Heinrich Haussler helped take Bauhaus across the line in first at the bunch sprint.
Stage three of the Saudi Tour started from King Saud University, the oldest university in the Kingdom. The 119km stage consisted of a five-km climb with a gradient of five pc that was covered twice.
Twenty km into the race a breakaway formed of five riders, building a gap of two minutes from the peloton. However, they were eventually reeled back in at the second ascent.
The race leader Rui Costa then put an attack with 50km to go but was pulled back with 32km left. Within the last 10km, Costa launched another attack, gaining a gap of 15 seconds but was again caught by the peloton with five km to go. As teams started fighting for position in for the sprint, Haussler managed to come out first on the last corner leading Cavendish and Bauhaus. This time Cavendish pulled Bauhaus, and it worked out perfectly.
“The team was just awesome, it was pure class, all day we were one step in front. The last corner, like yesterday Haussler went first position with Mark and me behind, and with 500 meters to go, Mark was super smart, and he told me to go, he made a gap, and I’m so happy that I could finish it off,” said Bauhaus.
Asked about the importance of the first win of the season for Team Bahrain McLaren Bauhaus said: “It was just important to take the first win for us, we were already so close twice, and we are a super strong team, and now this will boost the motivation for everyone in our team, it’s really nice to get the first win quite early, it’s a really nice feeling.”