Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) won the final stage ITT of Etoile de Besseges while Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) secured the overall title.
Team Qhubeka Assos put in credible performance in its opening race of the season, the Etoile de Besseges. European champion Giacomo Nizzolo placed 4th & 3rd on stages 1 & 2, respectively. Michael Gogl then infiltrated the race defining breakaway on stage 3, taking 9th on the stage and moved into overall GC contention.
Yesterday, an untimely puncture for Gogl put Team Qhubeka Assos on the back foot during the 4th stage, but a good team effort allowed Gogl to limit his losses and held onto 10th overall going into the final 11km time trial stage.
The final race against the clock had riders take on a mostly flat 8km stretch, before ending with a sharp 3km climb to the top of Alès. Gogl, the 10th last rider off, put in a fine performance to stop the clock in 15 minutes and 55 seconds.
This result had Gogl climbing up 4 spots on the overall general classification, finishing in 6th place on GC. A positive result for Team Qhubeka Assos in its debut race of 2021.
The Tour de la Provence is the next race on the teams calendar, and will get underway this coming Thursday.
I am very happy with my performance in the TT today and moving up to 6th place in the GC. It was a tough final stage with that ramp up to the finish, where you just needed to go as deep as you could. I can take this race as a good indication that my preparations over the winter were correct and went well.
A big thanks to all of the riders and staff, they were excellent this week and I thoroughly enjoyed being back racing. Now I am looking forward to the next races.Michael Gogl – Team Qhubeka Assos