Tomas Vaitkus Sprints to Top Ten Finish in Calgary

Sun 8 Sep 2013

Peter Sagan (Cannondale) sprinted to victory in Calgary to close out the Tour of Alberta. The final day of racing endedin a bunch sprint after the peloton caught the remnants of the early breakaway on the third of four technical circuit laps in downtown Calgary. Rohan Dennis (Garmin Sharp) finished safely in the bunch to earn the overall victory ahead of Brent Bookwalter (BMC) and Damiano Caruso (Cannondale).

“Our plan today was to sprint for Aidis Kruopis,” said Sport Director Matt White. “But if anyone could get in a breakaway, I told them to go for it. That’s what Beppu did. He got into a group of eight riders that slipped away around 30km into the stage.”

The peloton kept the escape group around the minute mark for most of the day. Although the breakaway worked well together, they were unable to extend their advantage.

“The break got a maximum gap of 1’30,” noted White. “There were too many teams keen for the sprint. The group had 15” when they hit the circuits. That’s when Beppu attacked.”

Beppu’s acceleration split the group. Five riders sat up to rejoin the bunch. Beppu, Jim Stemper (5-Hour Energy/Kenda) and Adam Farabaugh (Equipe Garneau-Quebecor) forged ahead.

“Fumy gave it his best shot,” said White. “They still had a slim advantage on the second to last lap.”

With the field closing quickly, Stemper crashed out of the break. The bunch overtook Beppu and Farabaugh just before the bell lap.

“Fumy is happy with his ride today,” White said. “He’s disappointed he got caught in the end, but he was happy with he was able to do so much work and attack toward the finish.”

With the peloton intact, the sprint trains readied for the finale. Sagan made a daring move to gain the inside line in the final corner. The risk proved worthwhile. Sagan was first out of the corner and first across the finish line. Tomas Vaitkus posted his first top ten result in the six day race, slotting into ninth place in the stage five sprint. Kruopis was slightly further back in 16th place.

“Aidis wasn’t in the best position for the sprint,” White explained. “He was around tenth wheel into the last corner. If there’s any chance of beating Sagan, you have to be in front of him or on his wheel.”