Pello Bilbao and his Bahrain Victorious team impressed yet again on stage 2 of the Tour of the Alps, the Basque rider winning the stage in Lana and his orange-clad teammates doing the hard work to close down a dangerous attack by Pavel Sivakov (Ineos Grenadiers) and Michael Storer (Groupama-FDJ).
Sivakov was on a mission to test his own form and that of his rivals after the break formed on the Passo Rolle as the Tour of the Alps climbed towards the Dolomites and then onto the Passo della Mendola above Bolzano.
Only 16 riders finished in the front group, such was the intensity of the pursuit of Sivakov and Storer and the climbing in the 154km stage but four of them were from Bahrain Victorious : Pello Bilbao , Mikel Landa, Santiago Buitrago and Hermann Pernsteiner.
In contrast, Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Qazaqstan) was dropped from the break and the chase group, finishing in a group at 13:52, while stage 1 winner Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroën) and Hugh Carthy (EF Education-EasyPost) lost contact on the last climb and 35 precious seconds. The rest of the peloton was spread over 20 minutes.
Bilbao was able to sit behind his teammates as they pursued Sivakov and Storer and they also gave him a superb lead-out in the rising and twisting final kilometre. The fast finishing Basque rider had little problem in beating Romain Bardet (Team DSM) and Valter Attila (Groupama-FDJ). Thanks to time bonuses, Bilbao leads the Frenchman in the overall classification by six […]