We’ve finished up all our races this weekend and here are your Final KMs from yesterday’s final stages of Herald Sun Tour, Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, Etoile de Besseges
Herald Sun Tour, Stage 4, Arthur’s Seat to Arthur’s Seat, 121.8km
It was a controversial end to the Herald Sun Tour with rumours of trash talking on the road, post-stage head-butting and a pissed-off Peter Kennaugh. With three times up the steep 3km Arthur’s Seat, Chris Froome made the most of the climbs in order to win the KOM jersey, using the second of the three circuits to ride away from the peloton. Sky then went about ensuring Kennaugh was second on the final podium, which seems to be what lit a week-long smouldering touchpaper between him and Avanti rider Pat Shaw. More about that here.
In the end, it was a Sky one-two with Froome and Kennaugh being joined on the final podium by Orica’s Damien Howson. Chris Hamilton (Australian Nati’l Team) kept the best young rider jersey and Trek’s Fumiyuki Beppo was awarded the race’s most aggressive rider.
Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, Stage 5, Valencia to Valencia, 120.6km
It was supposed to be an all-out final sprint before the podium presentations but Etixx-QuickStepper Stijn Vandenbergh took off on his own with 5km to go, joined only by a plastic bag that got wrapped around his back wheel. The tension of ‘will the bag do evil or will it remain docile‘ ran high for the final kilometres but Vandenbergh kept it from distracted him and went on to take his first win since 2007. A great finish for such a hardworking domestique.
Wout Poels finished safely in the pack and was the second Sky rider of the day to take a GC top spot. Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) held onto second and Benat Intxausti (Sky) took third. Poels made a clean sweep of the jerseys, winning KOM and points, with Team Sky winning team of the race.
Etoile de Besseges, Stage 5, Ales to Ales, ITT, 11.9km
It was a surprise on the last stage of Besseges – Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie) went into the ITT in the leader’s jersey and with his time-trialling prowess, not many people would bet that he wouldn’t be on the final podium. However, IAM’s Jerome Coppel (ironically from Chava’s former team) stormed the ITT, taking both the stage and the overall win. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and Jean-Christophe Peraud (Ag2r) were second and third on the stage while Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Soudal) and Tibblets were second and third on the final podium. Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie) won the points jersey; Roland Thalmann (Team Roth) won KOM and Pierre-Roger Latour (Ag2r) took best young rider’s jersey. FDJ won best team classification.
Header image: Stijn Vandenbergh and plastic bag on their way to stage victory at VCV.