Cycling

Pogacar secures Tour of Valencia victory as Jakobsen takes stage win

Tadej Pogacar (AFP)
Tadej Pogacar (AFP)

Madrid - Tadej Pogacar won the Tour of Valencia on Sunday as Fabio Jakobsen's sprint victory in the final stage posed no threat to the Slovenian's triumph in the general classification.

Pogacar of the UAE Team Emirates is just 21-years-old and is one of cycling's rising stars after coming third in the Vuelta a Espana in 2019.

He finished six seconds ahead of Australian Jack Haig of Mitchelton-Scott while British rider Tao Geoghegan Hart of Team Ineos was third.

Pogacar just needed to keep pace Sunday after taking top spot on stage four on Saturday.

"This win means a lot to me, especially after all the hard work we did in the winter to prepare," said Pogacar, who won three individual stages at last year's Vuelta. "To start my first race (of the year) and win is incredible."

Pogacar added his focus now will be to hit top form at the Tour de France, which starts in June.

The 24-year-old Hart said his podium spot came unexpectedly.

"I wasn't specifically targeting this race. So it was a pleasant surprise and a nice start to the year to build on," he said.

Dutch sprinter Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) and Germany's John Degenkolb (Lotto Soudal) came second and third respectively behind Jakobsen, who took the lead on the final turn and held on for Deceuninck-Quick Step's seventh win of 2020.

"We wanted to start the season well and that's why we came here to try to win a stage. I'm very happy we succeeded," said Jakobsen.

"I'm happy to be in this team because they put me in the perfect position to win the sprint and I'm happy I won - for them and for me."

Tour of Valencia stage five results

1. Fabio Jakobsen (NED/DQT) 2hr 4min 42sec, 2. Dylan Groenewegen (NED/JUM) same time, 3. John Degenkolb (GER/LTS), s.t., 4. Alexander Kristoff (NOR/UAE) s.t., 5. Ivan Garcia Cortina (ESP/BRN) s.t.

General classification

1. Tadej Pogacar (SLO/UAE) 18hr 43min 00sec, 2. Jack Haig (AUS/MIT) at 6sec, 3. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBR/INS) s.t., 4. Dan Martin (IRL/ISN) 13sec, 5. Dylan Teuns (BEL/BAH) 23sec

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