Spanish rider Luis Mate (Cofidis) won the final stage of the Route du Sud in France on Sunday while Vasily Kiryienka (Movistar) secured the overall title.
Simon Geschke (SKS) crossed the line second in the 145km stage into Pau, with Steve Houanard (ALM) taking third in the final stage of the four-day race across the Pyrénées.
Kiryienka, who snagged the race leader’s jersey in Saturday’s climbing stage, finished safely in the bunch to secure the overall title for his third win on the 2011 season. The Belorussian had been winless since 2008 despite a string of close calls through the 2009-10 seasons, including second places in stages at the Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana. This year, he’s popped for stage victories at the Tour of the Basque Country and the Giro d’Italia and was second overall at the Criterium International.
The victory is the 21st of the season for Movistar, which has been wracked by bad luck and tragedy involving some of its key riders. Xavier Tondo died in a bizarre accident in a garage last month while Colombian climbing ace Juan Mauricio Soler remains in an induced coma in Switzerland after crashing Thursday in the sixth stage at the Tour de Suisse.
Kiryienka’s victory will help boost the collective mood of the team going into the national championships next weekend and the Tour de France in July.
- 1. Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Esp), Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne, 3:19:39
- 2. Simon Geschke (Ger), Skil-Shimano, s.t.
- 3. Steve Houanard (Fra), Ag2r La Mondiale, s.t.
- 4. Kévin Reza (Fra), Europcar, s.t.
- 5. Javier Ramirez Abeja (Esp), Andalucia Caja Granada, s.t.
- 1. Vasili Kiryienka (Blr), Movistar, 19:12:36
- 2. Davide Rebellin (Ita), Miche-Silver Cross-Selle Italia, at 0:40
- 3. Peter Kennaugh (Gbr), Team Sky, at 0:43
- 4. José Herrada Lopez (Esp), Caja Rural, at 0:50
- 5. Sandy Casar (Fra), Française des Jeux, at 0:50