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First win of the season for Sonny Colbrelli


The BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM has booked its first victory of the season: After a strong leadout from his team mates, Sonny Colbrelli played his cards to perfection on the ascending finishing straight, winning the fourth stage of the Tour of Oman with a perfectly timed sprint.

At the Tour Down Under and the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana as the first two races of the season, the BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM missed out on a win. Ivan Cortina got to wear the white jersey of the best young rider for one day in Valencia, and Dylan Teuns finished the stage race in Catalonia in a strong 5th place in the overall standings, just like Rohan Dennis had done earlier at the Tour Down Under. As for the Tour of Oman, the team fielded two captains: As the leader for the overall Domenico Pozzovivo aimed for the race’s two mountaintop finishes whereas Sonny Colbrelli was the designated leader for the four sprint stages. Throughout the six stages the two captains were to be supported by Yukiya Arashiro, Kristijan Koren, Antonio Nibali, Domen Novak and Andrea Garosio.

As for the pan-flat first stage, Sonny Colbrelli struggled with the heat and decided not to contest the bunchsprint. The second stage was decidedly more hilly, and Colbrelli showed progress, sprinting to a 6th place. On the third day Domenico Pozzovivo scored a first top5 result for the team at the small mountaintop finish of Qurayyat, crossing the finish line in 5th. This result and the profile of the 4th stage with its ascending final kilometer seemed to motivate the riders of the BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM. Throughout the stage Sonny Colbrelli got sheltered and supported in the best way possible by his team mates, who also piloted him into the finale. At the team meeting before the start of the stage, sports director Alberto Volpi had already highlighted the final kilometer as a perfect fit for Sonny Colbrelli’s strengths.

When it came down to delivering the goods in the finale, Colbrelli kept his cool and did not show any weakness: He kept himself in a favorable position and patiently waited for the best moment to place his acceleration. In the end the fight for the stage win came down to a duel against Belgium’s Greg Van Avermaet, and Sonny Colbrelli managed to cross the finish line first. Just like the year before the Italian sprinter got the first win of the season for the BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM in the month of February in a race in the Middle East. This victory in relative proximity to the team’s main sponsor Bahrain is of particular value. From MERIDA BIKES’ perspective as the second main sponsor of the team, seeing Sonny Colbrelli getting the first win of the season aboard the REACTO DISC was just as delightful. As for the Tour of Oman, the remaining two stages offer one opportunity each for climbers and sprinters. A second delegation of team riders will be competing at the Vuelta a Andalucia in the South of Spain as from tomorrow.

1. Sonny Colbrelli, ITA/BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, in 3:19.09 hours

2. Greg Van Avermaet, BEL, st
3. Clément Venturini, FRA, st

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