Phil Bauhaus wins the first stage of the Tour de Azerbaijan
It was expected that the opening stage of the Tour de Azerbaijan would be something for the sprinters, still one brave rider tried to fool the peloton with a solo breakaway. After the gap increased to more than 8 minutes, it was BORA – Argon 18 to take control in the peloton. With about 60k to go the lonesome rider was caught, and also several attacks on the finishing circuit could not prevent BORA – Argon 18 from implementing their plan to prepare a sprint finish for Phil Bauhaus.
The last two lead-out men, Michi Schwarzmann and Scott Thwaites, did a perfect job to launch the sprint for Phil. The young German sprint talent then took a confident first ever win in BORA – Argon 18 colours. With this win he also secured 3 leaders jerseys for the team, for the GC, the points classification and the young rider classification! Tomorrow’s stage is a lot hillier than today, but with good legs like today Phil could be a favourite also tomorrow.
“We started pretty early today to take responsibility in the peloton, because we knew that Phil had a good chance today. Schilli (A. Schillinger) rode almost the whole day on the front, but really everyone did a great job today. In the final Schwarzi (M. Schwarzmann) and Scott (Thwaites) did a perfect lead-out. I am happy and proud that Phil could take his first win in BORA – Argon 18 colours today. Tomorrow we will see if we can control the race again like today. The course is a lot hillier and the forecast looks like crosswinds the whole day. Then it will be really challenging for us, because here in Azerbaijan are just 6-men teams on the line, that makes it a lot harder to defend a jersey.” - André Schulze, Sport Director
“The team did an excellent job today, everybody sacrificed himself today and I am really happy that I could pay back that with this win. It is also great to have the first win for BORA – Argon 18 under my belt now. Tomorrow will be different, a hard stage with some climbs that are harder than they look. But if everybody is working together that well like today, there is also a chance for me again I guess.” - Phil Bauhaus