Great performance of BAHRAIN MERIDA at 3rd Stage of Vuelta al País Vasco
San Sebastian, 5th April – Giovanni Visconti of BAHRAIN MERIDA team took 5th place at today’s 3rd stage of Pais Vasco. It was a great success for BAHRAIN MERIDA team today in Gipuzkoa, the tourist capital of the Basque Country.
Start of today’s climbing stage was in Vitoria-Gasteiz at 13.10 p.m. in a cloudy and humid weather with 11°C. As experienced riders would say, it was a typical day for País Basque. Riders had to be ready for 6 climbs, 4 of them were Cat. 3, and after 160,5 km, through picturesque valleys and steep and fogy mountains, they arrived to Atlantic Ocean bay in downtown Donostia – San Sebastian. The city has one of the most beautiful bays in the world – La Concha – surrounded by mountains and sightseeing points, full of gorgeous villas.
Today was a typical Stage of País Basque with rain, a lot of climbs, downhills and technical roads. From the start on there were fights between riders, many went for breakaways, in one of them at km 46 was also our Antonio Nibali. In this leading group there were 9 riders, and they achieved 4,5 min advantage, but later team SKY was starting to chase from behind. As the race was coming to the end, the bunch was getting smaller but also closer to the breakaway group.
“Our goal was to have Ion in the best position for the final 2-3 climbs because we knew it could be dangerous and some attacks could start from there. The boys did a really good job – all of them – the guys who are not able to climb that much, did a great job in the beginning of the stage, and then the other ones who are able to climb – they were there in the final,“ said Philippe Mauduit, sports director after the race and he continued:
“Ion Izaguirre tried to attack in the last climb, but there was another guy on his back wheel. De La Cruz did numero, strong performance and when we knew that we are fighting for the 2nd place we just gave freedom to Visconti to try to do the best result possible. And he finished 5th. Great performance of BAHRAIN MERIDA team.”
Ion Izaguirre said after the race: “In the last climb we tried to make the break, but in the peloton behind were teams with strong sprinters. It would be possible to go to the front, but we will see what happens in the next days.”
Giovanni Visconti, who took 5th place today, added: “Not a bad day for us. We were few riders in the front. I tried to sprint and I finished in 5th place. I am happy with my condition and I am happy today for Ion, he was very strong today.”
Photo : MIWA Iijima, PRESS BAHRAIN MERIDA Team