The final stage of the Abu Dhabi Tour came down to sprint finish on the Yas Marina Motor Circuit with Elia Viviani (Team Sky) powering to the stage win. World Champion Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) was 2nd and Andrea Gaurdini (Astana) took 3rd. It would be 20 laps of the famous Formula 1 track for the peloton today, totaling to a short 110km final stage. The track provided for a spectacular backdrop to the season finale particularly as the stage was held in the evening under lights. The early break of 3 riders enjoyed some TV time but the stage was always going to see a.
Paris-Tours would be a frighteningly fast race as riders averaged 49.6km/h for the 231km route. The defining moment of the race came as early as the opening 20 kilometers when 30 riders got clear after a crash in the peloton. We had Nic Dougall make the front selection as the peloton scrambled to try and bring back the lead group. The big lead group was able to open a decent 4 minute gap though and the peloton were feeling the pressure. Eventually 18 riders put in a counter attack and tried to bridge to the lead group, our African team had Johann van Zyl in.
The Gran Premio Beghelli saw a select bunch sprint decide the race victor with Sonny Colbrelli (Bardiani) being the fastest. Manuel Belletti (Southeast) was 2nd and Roberto Ferrari (Lampre) took 3rd place. MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung was put on display for the majority of the day by Merhawi Kudus, as he and Jef van Meirhaeghe (Topsport Vlaanderen) formed the 2 rider break of the day. Riding at a maximum of 4 minutes ahead of the peloton, Merhawi was able to get the better of the Belgian at all the intermediate sprints and GPM’s to win both those classifications today. The two man escape was not going.