Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung brought its 2014 season to a close at the Paris-Tours Classic today.
Kristian Sbaragli made it a positive end to the year by finishing 7th in the “Sprinters Classic”. Although the race has been dubbed as a sprinters race, it was actually a 2 man escape that made it to the line first today. Jelle Wallays (Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise) was the victor with Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) the runner up. Jens Debusschere (Lotto-Belisol) won the sprint for 3rd.
With 15km’s to go it looked as if the 2 escapees were going to be caught but nobody expected the wet and slippery roads to take out a large majority of the chasing peloton. Team MTN-Qhubeka had Jaco Venter, Songezo Jim and Nic Dougall all go down in the finale crashes leaving Sbaragli to fend for himself in the 40 rider peloton. This was only after Johann van Zyl did a stellar job in assisting the bigger teams to chase the break for most of the day though.
Rider – Kristian Sbaragli
I am a bit disappointed with my result today because i was really feeling very good. In the final i had to spend quite a bit of energy to help close the gap to the small group that was in front. In the sprint i couldn’t then do the sprint i might have been able to. I suppose it is okay to be in the top 10 in a classic like Paris-Tours though, i’m just really looking forward to next year now.
Director Sportif – Jens Zemke
Today Kristian got a nice 7th place at Paris-Tours. With a bit more support, possibly from the other teams, his result could have been better. The final was very wet and hectic though so as a team we can be happy to bring our season to an end with this result.