Phil Bauhaus was in the mix of the finale’s action as he sprinted to 9th place on the opener of the 2017 Volta Ciclista a Catalunya.
It was a day for a breakaway as four riders went clear 37km into the days racing. Their gap levelled out at around 2-3 minutes throughout the day and after 119km, three riders bridged across to join them. Team Sunweb spent the day in the comfort of the peloton preserving energy for the inevitable bunch sprint. Various teams began to set the pace on the front making it known that they wanted to bring the race back together for a bunch sprint. After a surge of effort from the front, the bunch regrouped with 25km to the finish. The final showdown brought an opportunity for the pelotons fastest, and we saw a sprint through to the finish line at Calella.
After the stage Phil said: “It was a really difficult day out there today and it was tough on the climbs. After a hard effort all day I am pleased to have been up there in the finale and it was good to have still been in contention for the sprint.”
“It was a tough day in the saddle for our guys at stage 1,” said Team Sunweb coach Tom Veelers. “Everything was in control until the last climb where we lost Max, Johannes and Chad. It was really tough for them to hang onto the bunch and unfortunately today wasn’t their day. Phil also had a tough day with the climbs but was still in the mix in the finale. Tomorrow is a new day and we’re looking forward to getting some good results in the TTT.”