João Almeida triumphs in mountain stage in Burgos, but Pavel Sivakov takes the overall win | cycling

The profile of the final stage invited us to turn the classification upside down. However, that was not counting in Ineos, which (partly thanks to a strong Laurens De Plus) imposed a tight pace on the final climb in the service of Pavel Sivakov.

The hungry hippo was the last to gobble up Chris Harper. At that moment we were already so close to the top that Sivakov’s overall victory was already certain.

The Frenchman (until recently a Russian) could not put the crown on the work. In the final phase, he had to let Miguel Angel Lopez (until recently inactive for his alleged role in a doping case) and João Almeida.

Almeida had just hung on to the stretcher, but the Portuguese is on his bike like a cat with 9 lives. With the finish in sight, Lopez had to give in.

Less than 2 weeks from the Vuelta, Almeida, Lopez and overall winner Sivakov have at least shown themselves in this Tour of Burgos, although the opposition will be a lot tougher later on.

From a Belgian angle, the performance of Ilan Van Wilder is especially promising. The still only 22-year-old Belgian of Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl finally seems to be freed from illness and injuries and that is now also translated into results. He is 5th in the final standings, his best result with the pros.



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