Succesen fortsætter for Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team.
Mens Gorka Izagirre blev nr. 2 på første etape af Paris-Nice, beviste Matej Mohoric sit store potientiale og med en fantastisk nedkørsel sikrede sig sejren i det stærkt besatte Italienske løb GP Larciano.
Media release Merida Europe: BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, March 4th 2018
Matej Mohoric wins GP Larciano
The first racing weekend in the month of March turned out to be quite a success for the BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM: On Saturday Giovanni Visconti rode to a 5th place in the semi-classic Strade Bianche. On Sunday Matej Mohoric got to celebrate his first win in the team’s colours at the GP Larciano one-day race and Gorka Izagirre added a 2nd place in the first stage of Paris-Nice.
At the 41st edition of the GP Industria & Artigianato the BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM fielded a line-up that looked to be in contention of the win: As the team’s dedicated captain Giovanni Visconti could count on the support of experienced riders such as Valerio Agnoli, Franco Pellizotti and Kanstantin Siutsou and of young talents Matej Mohoric, Hermann Pernsteiner and Domen Novak. While the initial 100 kilometers were mostly flat, the following four loops around the town of Larciano featured the ascent to Formello. The early attack was neutralized on the penultimate passage of this climb, and Giovanni Visconti bridged the gap to Cesare Benedetti on the following descent. But they still had to cover 29 kilometers on the way to the finish, and this attack got neutralized as well with 13 kilometers to go. On the final ascent up to Formello, four strong climbers managed to get away and start the descent towards Larciano with a small lead of a couple of seconds.
Given this situation Matej Mohoric brought his descending skills to good use and left the chasing group behind. He caught up with the lead group and attacked the other riders with four kilometers to go, leaving them behind and defending his lead on the flat three kilometers to the finish line. Thus the 23 year-old Slovene got to celebrate his first win in the colours of the BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM. Less than an hour later the team missed out on a second win by the smallest of margins: The first stage of Paris-Nice ended with an ascent on cobblestones, and the peloton had regrouped before heading into this climb. Without an impressive, long acceleration by Ivan Garcia Cortina, Alexis Vuillermoz would have likely grabbed a solo win. Gorka Izagirre blasted past the Frenchman with less than 200 meters to go and almost got the stage win. The race jury had to take a close look at the finishing photo, and it decided that the win went to Arnaud Démare by a margin of two millimeters.
One day earlier the BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM showed a strong performance at the Tuscan semi-classic Strade Bianche. The first rider to fly the colours of the team in the day’s first lead group was young Ukrainian Mark Padun. When this group had been caught Matej Mohoric placed an attack on a technical descent, catching the other teams off guard. But he could not avoid the decisive move of Wout van Aert, Romain Bardet and Tiesj Benoot. While these three riders battled for the win on a rain-soaked Sunday in Tuscany, Giovanni Visconti managed to get into a high-caliber chasing group. On the final ascent to Siena’s iconic Piazza del Campo Visconti only got beaten by Alejandro Valverde. Thus the captain of the BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM crossed the finish line in 5th place - a strong result under very difficult conditions. Finishing in 11th, Matej Mohoric narrowly missed out on a top10 result.
41st GP Industria & Artigianato: Larciano - Larciano, 199.2km
1. Matej Mohoric, SVN/BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, in 4:39.23 hours
2. Marco Canola, ITA, + 0.03
3. Davide Ballerini, ITA, + 0.11
Stage 1: Chatou - Meudon, 135km
1. Arnaud Démare, FRA, in 3:07.39 hours
2. Gorka Izagirre, ESP/BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, st
3. Christophe Laporte, FRA, st