During the Tour of the Alps second stage, Pello Bilbao and his team Bahrain Victorious really stood out. This was a momentous victory for Bilbao as he and his teammates worked in perfect sync to counter a very dangerous attack laid by Pavel Sivakov (Ineos Grenadiers) and Michael Storer (Groupama-FDJ). Although in the end, Bilbao emerged victoriously and made his team proud.
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This was an event where people wanted to try out their full strength and see what they can do, Pavel Sivakov was one of them as he was trying to test out his full form. The race quickly turned gnarly as the climb towards the Dolomites and then onto the Passo della Mendola came.
During the height of the battle, only 16 riders made it to the front group, this was the intensity laid out by Sivakov and Storer. Although from those 16 riders, 4 were from Bahrain Victorious. Those riders were: Pello Bilbao, Mikel Landa, Santiago Buitrago, and Hermann Pernsteiner, they had a plan in mind, and they were going to execute it no matter what.
Teamwork played a very big part here, Bilbao was able to depend on his teammates as they pushed towards Sivakov and Storer, they even supported him during the final kilometer of the race which was both twisting and dangerous.
Bilbao expressed his pride by being with his team after the race had ended:
We were patient and confident in our ability. It was difficult to believe we would catch them at one point but we just kept riding and everyone in the team gave their best.
It was impressive to see four Bahrain Victorious riders reach the finish together and still have legs to give me a great lead-out. After that I couldn’t miss out on such a chance of victory.
I’m super proud of this victory. I love it when we show that cycling is a real team sport. It’s impossible to win here without a team. I needed all the riders today.
Although Bilbao is known for playing a domestique role, he is always proud of his team. He does not complain but rather shows unbreakable loyalty to his team.
I don’t like to rush in and take leadership and responsibility in a team, I prefer to show what I can do out on the road, that’s how you ensure all your teammates are then ready to help you.
The team helped me win a stage at the Itzula Basque Country and it’s been a great start to the season. But I know there will be a moment when I work for the others and that’s not a problem. We’re always ready to work 100 percent for our leader, whoever that may be.
I think I’m at my best ever. I’m still improving year on year and this is probably the best moment of my career.
Bilbao showed amazing skills and his team showed great companionship. The third stage of the Tour of the Alps starts soon and this is going to be a tough one. You know where to look for more updates!
Featured Image Via Instagram/pello.bilbao