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by Mark Zalewski
January 27, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Navardauskas takes Bahrain-Merida inaugural win in San Juan TT; Greipel sprints to win in Challenge Mallorca opener; Kirsten Wild just pips Chloe Hosking in Race Melbourne photo finish; Sam Bennett sprints to victory at Race Melbourne, the Cadel’s Race curtain-raiser crit; Mark Cavendish: Merckx’s Tour de France record is now a realistic target for me; Cyclocross worlds preview: In Bieles, a new chapter will be written between the sport’s two young stars; French teams dominate wildcard selections for Tour de France, Paris-Nice and Critérium du Dauphiné; Retired pro cyclist Tom Zirbel shifts to triathlon; World Championship course proving to be a challenge; Former pro talks about battle with depression, suicide attempts; Vuelta a San Juan, stage 3 highlights; Video: Abu Dhabi Tour preview; Video: Tony Martin off to rocky start with Katusha-Alpecin.
Ramunas Navardauskas won the time trial of the Vuelta a San Juan, giving the new WorldTour Bahrain-Merida team its first win.
“Looking back, I was not thinking to win,” said Navardauskas. “I just wanted to give my best and try to make a good race. We had ridden the route several times and it was a kind of time trial where you had to push very very strong.”
The Lithuanian road champion and former national TT champion also takes the GC lead, three seconds ahead of Bauke Mollema and seven seconds ahead of Matthias Brändle, both of Trek-Segafredo.
“We are very proud of this first victory in the history of Team Bahrain Merida,” said sport director Paolo Slongo. “No doubt it’s a success that has a particular value, but to tell you the truth I’m not so surprised. I thought that a specialist like Ramunas could make a good result, but I would also like to highlight the good performance of the team that put four athletes in the top 13. It means that we are going in the right direction and we worked well in this last period.”
However, with the GC so tight a battle is on the horizon when the race heads to the climbs, like the Alto de Colorado on stage 5.