International Cycling

Gilbert wins Tour of Beijing

2014-10-14 12:42
Philippe Gilbert (AP)

Beijing - Belgium's Philippe Gilbert won the final edition of the Tour of Beijing on Tuesday, in the shadow of the Bird's Nest stadium that hosted the 2008 Olympics.

Ireland's Dan Martin, who was last year's runner-up, again took second place overall, while 24-year-old Esteban Chaves of Colombia took third.

Garmin-Sharp's American rider Tyler Farrar took the green jersey for the points ranking by a single point from Slovenia's Luka Mezgec (Giant-Shimano), thanks to his fourth place on Tuesday.

Italian Sacha Modolo of Lampre-Merida won a bunch sprint to take the race's fifth and final stage, a 117-kilometre  course that started at Tiananmen Square before making 12 loops of a circuit around the stadium.

"It was really nice but still stressful for the last lap, with a small gap like this," said BMC rider Gilbert, who entered Tuesday's stage with only a three-second advantage over Martin and several sprint and place bonuses available.

"So, I took the before-last corner in a really good position, and then I saw that it was okay, because of the headwind in the last kilometre. I didn't take any risk," added Gilbert, the 2012 World Champion.

While Monday and Tuesday's stages took place under clear blue skies, heavy pollution earlier in the last WorldTour event of the season forced Saturday's hilly second stage to be cut short by about a quarter -- a development that gave a boost to Gilbert, who is not known as a climber.

In his last professional race before retirement, French FDJ.FR rider Laurent Mangel sought to go out on a high in Beijing, breaking away from the pack with Belgium's Tosh van der Sande (Lotto-Belisol) early on and the pair maintaining a gap almost to the end, only to be swept up by the peloton inside the final kilometre.

"It was close, but we tried to make the other teams work because we worked a lot this week," stage winner Modolo said. "In the end, it worked out."

"It's a good race and it's good to take cycling to new territories," he added.

But the Tour of Beijing was being run for the last time, with the organisers admitting the event "has not been without difficulties", and was overshadowed by some top-level withdrawals including Tour of Spain winner Alberto Contador and WorldTour number one Alejandro Valverde.

Results from the 117 km fifth and final stage of the Tour of Beijing from Tiananmen Square to the Bird's Nest piazza on Tuesday:


1. Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida/ITA) 2 hours 40 mins 10 secs

2. Gregory Henderson (Lotto-Belisol/NZL) same time

3. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky/NOR) st

4. Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp/USA) st

5. Moreno Hofland (Belkin Pro/NED) st

Overall standings

1. Philippe Gilbert (BMC/BEL) 17 hours 59 mins 56 secs

2. Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp/IRE) + 3 secs

3. Esteban Chaves (Orica GreenEDGE/COL) + 9

4. Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida/POR) + 11 secs

5. Sergey Chernetski (Katusha/RUS) + 23

Points ranking

1. Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp/USA) 45

2. Luka Mezgec (Giant–Shimano/SLO) 44

3. Moreno Hofland (Belkin Pro/NED) 33

4. Philippe Gilbert (BMC/BEL) 31

5. Nikolas Maes (Omega Pharma-Quick Step/BEL) 29

Read more on:    philippe gilbert  |  cycling

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