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Haig, Caruso reprise Tour de France co-leadership for Bahrain Victorious

Jack Haig and Damiano Caruso will lead Bahrain Victorious at the Tour de France
Jack Haig and Damiano Caruso will lead Bahrain Victorious at the Tour de France (Image credit: Dario BelingheriGetty Images)

Bahrain Victorious have announced their squad for the upcoming Tour de France, with GC contenders Jack Haig and Damiano Caruso heading up the eight-man selection.

Australian Haig has the opportunity to lead a Tour de France squad for the second time in as many years after crashing out early on following a strong start last July. He went on to finish on the podium of the Vuelta a España and he'll now look to carry on his good form from the Critérium du Dauphiné, where he finished fifth.

"I'm feeling really good coming into the Tour and maybe a little more relaxed this year than last year. Last year I went into the race with a lot of pressure on myself and to prove to my new team that I could perform," Haig said.

"This year I feel much more comfortable in the team alongside the group of riders we have going into the Tour, so I've not got much to be nervous about.

"As I said, we've got a strong line-up going into the race with really good flat support, which will be important for the first seven-eight days, which will be about minimising the risk of any bad luck.

"For my personal ambitions, I want to go well in the GC, and if I get a top-five finish by the end of the Tour, I'd be quite happy. For the team's ambitions, we will look for some stage results, with the strong guys who will have opportunities to look for some results themselves."

Caruso, meanwhile, finished second at the Giro d'Italia last year and was 10th at the 2020 Tour de France. The Italian veteran finished fourth at the Dauphiné and will form a two-pronged GC attack for Bahrain alongside Haig.

The team can also count on Dylan Teuns and Matej Mohorič, both of whom have two Tour stage victories on their palmarès. Three of the four came at last year's race, including Teuns' breakaway win in the Alps at Le Grand-Bornand.

Along with that pairing and Haig, British youngster Fred Wright is the fourth man to make the cut from last year's Bahrain Tour team.

Spanish veteran Luis León Sánchez brings experience to the team – the 38-year-old will be starting his 11th career Tour de France. Jan Tratnik, who rode the Tour in 2019, and Kamil Gradek, who will be making his race debut, round out the selection in vital helper roles.

Mohorič, who won two stages from the breakaway last year, said that the cobbled fifth stage will be on his hit list this time around.

"My goal in this year's Tour is to try and win a stage again. My favourite stage will be stage 5 with the finish at the Arenberg forest. I was the first rider to enter it at Paris Roubaix, so my dream is to be the first there again in July.

"I feel confident. I've worked as hard as I ever did to be ready for the season's biggest race. If I can't do it there, I hope to get a stage win elsewhere from the breakaway. My teammates are also ready; together, we will try and make an even better race than last year."

Bahrain Victorious for the 2022 Tour de France

  • Jack Haig
  • Damiano Caruso
  • Dylan Teuns
  • Matej Mohorič
  • Fred Wright
  • Luis León Sánchez
  • Jan Tratnik
  • Kamil Gradek

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Daniel Ostanek
Daniel Ostanek

Daniel Ostanek is production editor at Cyclingnews, having joined in 2017 as a freelance contributor and later being hired as staff writer. Prior to joining the team, he had written for most major publications in the cycling world, including CyclingWeekly, Rouleur, and CyclingTips.

 

Daniel has reported from the world's top races, including the Tour de France and the spring Classics, and has interviewed many of the sport's biggest stars, including Wout van Aert, Remco Evenepoel, Mark Cavendish, Demi Vollering, and Anna van der Breggen.

 

As well as original reporting, news and feature writing, and production work, Daniel also runs The Leadout newsletter and oversees How to Watch guides throughout the season. His favourite races are Strade Bianche and the Volta a Portugal, and he rides a Colnago C40.