Bahrain-McLaren win first GC title as Cavendish acts as lead-out man for Bauhaus
Phil Bauhaus produced a dramatic sprint finish victory to win the Saudi Tour on Saturday, thanks in part to a terrific lead-out from team-mate Mark Cavendish.
Bauhaus began the stage two seconds behind Nacer Bouhanni in the overall standings and aware that a stage win would see him beat the Frenchman to the title.
Aside from a puncture for Cavendish with 65km remaining, the stage went seamlessly for the side, with a breakaway being hauled in and a lead-out train being set up.
Cavendish is typically used to being the final man in that train, but there was a change in role for the Manxman in Riyadh, with him working for Bauhaus with a GC win in the balance.
It paid off in style for the big German, who held of Bouhanni to take the stage and the overall victory.
“Mark just did awesome on the last 400m and I could start the sprint from the first position [in the race] and that was the key today,” Bauhaus said.
" It really means a lot to me, he’s a former world champion, he’s one of the best sprinters in the world and I really appreciate that he worked for me."
The result was left in some doubt as Bouhanni sat up and gesticulated about a bad racing line in the run-in, but a visit to the commissaires office yielded no results for the Frenchman.
Final general classification
1. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain-McLaren, in 17-53-38
2. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Arkéa-Samsic, at two seconds
3. Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates, at 13s
4. Youcef Reguigui (Alg) Terengganu Inc. TSG, at 22s
5. Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Bahrain-McLaren, at 23s
6. Carlos Barbero (Esp) NTT, at 24s
7. Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo, at 25s
8. Andreas Kron (Den) Riwal Readynez, at same time
9. Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) Total Direct Energie, at 26s
10. August Jensen (Nor) Riwal Readynez, at same time