In the final stage of the tour, cyclists were greeted by a 112.5 kilometer long stage with four distinct climbs. The last nine kilometers were also uphill, which ruled out the possibility of a group finish. The task of Latvian champion Emīlas Liepiņš (“Trek – Segafredo”) was to help the team leader Antonio Tiberīs in the fight for the overall standings, who kept good chances for the top six.
Meanwhile, in the race for the top spot, young Australian cycling star Jay Wynne (UAE Team Emirates) was 15 seconds ahead of closest follower Simon Yates (Jayco AlUala) before the final stage.
All the decisive events took place on the final climb, when the ranks of the peloton became thinner and thinner with each kilometer. Emīls Liepiņš held on perfectly in the climb, who lost contact with the leaders only in the final part of it. In addition, Emil also completed the task assigned to him – to help Tiberi to be in front.
With less than two kilometers to go, Yates attacked. He was able to be followed by overall leader Wynne and another Australian cyclist, Ben O’Connor (“AG2R Citroen”). The trio remained uncaught until the finish line. In the last meters, Yates was a little faster and won the stage. Vains finished immediately behind him, thus safely securing the victory in the tour overall.
The leader of “Trek – Segafredo” at this stage, Antonio Tiberi, finished in fourth place, only 3 seconds behind the leader. In the overall standings, he rose from ninth place to eighth.
Emīls Liepiņš, who was in the leader’s group five kilometers before the finish, finished in 42nd place, 1 minute and 37 seconds behind the winner. In the overall ranking, Emils ranked 46th. The Latvian champion also earned ten UCI world ranking points, which is very important for Latvia in the fight for as many places as possible to the Paris Olympic Games.
It should be noted that in the prologue and five stages of the tour, Emīls Liepiņš twice finished in the top ten, winning sixth and seventh place respectively. In two of the stages, despite being in excellent positions, our athletes had bad luck. In the prologue, being in the top six, Liepiņš fell in the last corner, but in the fourth stage, being in second place only a few tens of meters before the finish line, Liepiņš was run over by the Italian Alberto Betiols. In general, our athlete confirmed that he is in very good shape, which allows us to hope for high-quality results in the future.