Colombia's Edwin Vanegas captured the inaugural Tour of Trinidad and Tobago yesterday when he crossed the finish line of the Cedric Weekes Stage in second position in front of the Eric Williams Financial Complex in Port of Spain.
The Cycling Team Krieger rider, who held the leader's yellow jersey from the fifth stage until he lost it to Primal Europe's Ben Simmons in Saturday's ninth stage, began the final race in second position overall, some 11 seconds adrift of Simmons. And he produced the result he wanted in coming home in two hours, two minutes, 36:86 seconds to catapult himself atop the overall standings.
Tom Stockdale of Primal Europe was first home, with Team Foundation's Raphael Merane third, as all three riders were credited with the same time.
Yesterday's final stage began in Mayaro, with the top five riders being separated by a total of 25 seconds and the expectation was for a cat and mouse game to develop during the course of the race.
However, as early as Manzanilla a four-man break was initiated, with Phillip Clarke (Rafmon Mecalfab), Duban Figueredo (Cycling Team Krieger), Euris Vidal (Team Foundation) and Richard Heathcote (Primal Europe) pulling away from the peloton to dispute the early pace.
Those four were caught by another group of seven riders, which had Vanegas, Merane and Stockdale among them, as the race progressed through Sangre Grande.
The leading pack began working well together to open a five-minute advantage on the chasing bunch. It was a cushion they could not only hold as the route took them through Valencia, Arima and into Port of Spain, but extend it to seven-and-a-half minutes by the time they crossed the finish in a bunch sprint.
Trinidad and Tobago's US-based rider Emile Abraham, who was in contention for a podium finish holding fifth position overall, trailed in nine minutes behind the runaway bunch, which saw him drop down the order to complete the Tour in 12th position overall..
The Rosetti Devo cyclist virtually had to go it alone as his teammates complained of a stomach ailment before the start of the race and as a result could not counter any of the attacks during the race.
Vanegas won the Tour with a combined time of 12 hours 38 minutes 21.62 seconds, with Merane in second (12:38:24.21) and Team Petrotrin's Jaime Ramirez third in 12:38:32.19.
Tour of T&T--Stage 10 (Cedric Weekes Stage) results:
1. Tom Stockdale (Primal Europe) – 2:02:36.86
2. Edwin Vanegas (Cycling Team Krieger) – 2:02:36.86
3. Raphael Merane (Team Foundation) – 2:02:36.86
4. Richard Heathcote (Primal Europe) – 2:02:36.86
5. Jaime Ramirez – (Team Petrotrin) – 2:02:36.86
6. Cesar Grajales (Team Petrotrin) – 2:02:36.86
7. Linford Blackwood (Team Trek) – 2:02:36.86
8. Timo Scholz (Team CCN) – 2:02:36.86
9. Euris Vidal (Team Foundation) – 2:02:36.86
10. Phillip Clarke (Rafmon Mecalfab) – 2:02:36.86
1. Edwin Vanegas (Krieger) – 12:38:21.62
2. Raphael Merane (Foundation) – 12:38:24.21
3. Jaime Ramirez (Petrotrin) – 12:38:32.19
4. Cesar Grajales (Petrotrin) – 12:38:41.75
5. Richard Heathcote (Primal) – 12:38:53.39