Tom Scully of Cannondale-Drapac has won the final stage of Route du Sud. Scully backed up yesterday’s stage win for teammate Pierre Rolland with victory from the day’s breakaway. In a very tense and closely run finale Scully was able to take the sprint win despite the peloton latching onto the leaders.
The final stage of the Route du Sud took the field of 115 riders on a 154.8km trek from Gers-Saint Michel to Nogaro. The stage was a lightly rolling one and had all the characteristics of a stage that could wind up being a bunch sprint finish. But an early break, featuring Scully, was able to break clear.
Tom Scully made his way up the road in a breakaway group that included Jerome Mainard of Armee de Terre, Mathias Leturnier of Cofidis, Julien Antomarchi of Roubaix-Lille Metropole, Nikita Stalnov, Clément Chevrier of AG2R La Mondiale, Mikel Bizkarra of Etzegibel of Euskadi Basque Country-Murias, Johan Le Bon of FDJ and Kévin Ledanois of Fortuneo Vital Concept. The break’s lead peaked at about 3 minutes, with BMC comfortable with the break’s lead.
Eventually, under the guidance of Movistar and Team Sky, the gap began to tumble, but it wasn’t doing so with any great urgency, and with 8km to go the gap was still at a strong 45 seconds. It was very much in the balance as to whether the break would be able to stay clear. For the time being though the break were functioning together very well indeed.
With 7km to go Team Sky were now taking a commanding role on the front and as a result the lead began to tumble a bit more significantly. They received support from Direct Energie, but had they left it too late? With 4km to go the gap had been reduced to 35 seconds, with the peloton clearly riding with a strong sense of urgency, but still the leaders were withstanding the chase effort of the peloton.
Johan Le Bon led the break onto the final 3km of racing on the motor racing circuit and appeared to have tried to break clear of the pack. He was only able to gain a gap of ten metres or so though and quickly found himself back in the fold. Armee de Terre were sitting on the front and desperately trying to do something about the leading group. With 1.6km to go the gap was still sitting at just under 20 seconds, as Scully hit the front with 1.2km to go.
By now the peloton were breathing down the neck of the break and the leaders were beginning to play cat and mouse through the 1km to go banner. Mikel Bizkarra made a final dart for victory but he was pegged back as the pack began to reel in the remnants of the break who just didn’t have anything left.
With about 200m to go the peloton caught up to the back end of the break just as the break led it out for the sprint. Scully went from just about 150m to go, charging down the right hand side of the road. No one was able to jump on his wheel successfully though as the New Zealander raced away to the stage win.
|2||Mathias LE TURNIER||FRA||COF||+0|
|10||Carlos BARBERO CUESTA||ESP||MOV||+0|
|12||Tom VAN ASBROECK||BEL||CDT||+0|
|15||Mikel BIZKARRA ETXEGIBEL||ESP||EUS||+0|
|19||Jonathan LASTRA MARTINEZ||ESP||CJR||+0|