South African Cycling

DiData end 2016 season with victory

2016-10-23 20:52
mark cavendish
Mark Cavendish (Getty Images)

Abu Dhabi - The final stage of the Abu Dhabi Tour brought Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka's 2016 season to a close and the African team couldn't have asked for a better ending as Mark Cavendish sprinted to victory, thanks to a perfect leadout by his team-mates.

The final stage of the Abu Dhabi Tour took place under the lights of the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

"I am really happy to have won the stage again. It's another win and good exposure for our sponsors and Qhubeka, so it was really nice to be able to do that," Cavendish said.

The peloton lined up for 26 laps of the flat 5.5km circuit, with a sprint finale on everyone's mind.

Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka were fully concentrated on delivering Cavendish to what would be the team's 32nd victory of the season and so when a five-rider break went clear early on, the team had no problem helping to control the pace.

Jay Thomson and Mekseb Debesay were rolling through with the Astana team, who were riding in defence of the overall race lead.

This would be the case for around 120km and then the African team just took full control of proceedings for the final 25km.

Thomson and Debesay relayed at the head of affairs to close the 1:15 gap to the lead riders while Cavendish lined up behind his lead out team of Bernie Eisel, Youcef Reguigui and Mark Renshaw.

Thomson and Debesay were truly phenomenal, only pulling off of the front with 7km to go when the last of the breakaway riders were brought back into the fold.

Eisel then captained DiData's train as they started the final lap, keeping their Manxman well placed heading into the final few corners.

Eisel hit the front with 2km to go and when he was done, Reguigui followed with his maximal effort.

Despite a Giant-Alpecin rider slipping into DiData's train before the final corner at 300m to go, it was like poetry in motion watching the African team perfect the finale.

Renshaw led through the last right-hander and when the road opened for Cavendish, there was no stopping the Manx Missile from winning on the home straight.

The stage podium was completed by Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) and Elia Viviani (Team Sky) respectively.

It was a beautiful stage win to end off what has been a fantastic season for Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka, made sweeter with Cavendish also winning the Abu Dhabi Tour green points jersey.

Stage results:

1. Mark Cavendish (GBR/Dimension Data) 3hr 07min 44sec, 2. Giacomo Nizzolo (ITA), 3. Elia Viviani (ITA), 4. Magnus Cort Nielsen (DEN), 5. Jean-Pierre Drucker (LUX) all same time.

Overall:

1. Tanel Kangert (EST/Astana) 12hr 27min 34sec, 2. Nicolas Roche (IRL) at 21 sec, 3. Diego Ulissi (ITA) 43, 4. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) 1:00, 5. Alberto Contador (ESP) 1:00.

Read more on:    mark cavendish  |  cycling
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