Dubai: After a difficult day for UAE Team Emirates at the Giro d’Italia, which saw Joe Dombrowski retire from the race after suffering a concussion in a crash on Stage V, Ryan Gibbons boosted the squad’s morale by clinching victory at Trofeo Calvia, part of the four-day Challenge Mallorca series.
Gibbons put in a heroic effort with a long-range attack that ended with him holding on to win a two-man sprint after 168.7km in the saddle.
In what was a tough day featuring 3,400 metres of climbing, Gibbons set out on the attack with 70km to go in a group of seven riders, which was whittled down to just two, with Anthony Delaplace (Arkea-Samsic) the other member of the remaining breakaway. The African continental champion outpaced the Frenchman in the final dash to the line, lifting his arms in celebration, with the main group a further 41’’ behind the pair.
“I’m really thrilled with this victory. I started the race very aggressively and made sure I got in the move along with Sven Erik Bystrom who was also attacking all day. After about 70-80 km, I slipped away in a group of seven riders and then two of us. It was a really tough day and I was definitely feeling it in the legs at the end, but I knew when it came down to a two-up sprint I had a good chance. I’m very grateful to get the win. We have three more races here in Mallorca this week, so we’re really motivated to do well in them all.”
The win marks the 11th triumph of the year for UAE Team Emirates and Gibbons’ first road race victory since becoming African Continental Champion.
1. Ryan Gibbons (UAE Tam Emirates) 4:21:04
2. Anthony Delaplace (Arkea Samsic) s.t
3. Rune Herregodts (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) +41’’
6. Sven Erik Bystrom (UAE Team Emirates) s.t.