Frenchman Thomas Lebas took the yellow jersey from Nick Miller of Futuro Pro Cycling after finishing fourth in the longest leg of Tour de Flores 2017 on Monday (17/07). (SP Photo/Joanito de Saojoao)
Frenchman Lebas Captures Yellow Jersey in Tour de Flores 2017
JULY 17, 2017
Borong, Flores. Frenchman Thomas Lebas took the yellow jersey from Nick Miller of Futuro Pro Cycling after finishing fourth in the longest leg of Tour de Flores 2017 on Monday (17/07).
Lebas finished 56 seconds behind the stage leader, Spaniard Edgar Nohales Nieto of Team 7-Eleven, who completed the punishing stage featuring steep climbs and a descent with hundreds dangerous turns, in 4 hours, 47 minutes 57 seconds.
Miller has to contend with a fifth place in the general classification after failing to keep up with an attack during the last 20 kilometers of the stage.
Reigning champion Daniel Whitehouse ended second in the stage, his second consecutive runner-up position after a subdued performance during the first two stages.
He is now in 11th place in the general classification, behind Nieto, who has moved up to 10th place, thanks his result on Monday.
Indonesian champion Muhammad Imam Arifin of the KFC Cycling Team dropped one place to third in the general classification. He is still the top Indonesian, Asean and Asian rider in the tour.
Nieto, who managed to score points in all the stage sprints and King of Mountain, now dons the polka-dot jersey.
"I am so happy now," said Nieto, who finished third in third stage. "For me it's not that I fought in the last kilometer. I fought for the entire 170 kilometers."
Rick D. Rodriguez, 7-Eleven team manager, said Monday's stage featured a dangerous drop and a 34-kilometer descent with 311 sharp turns, but he was grateful that all the riders made it through safely.
"The race is long and hard. But we knew from the start that we would win this; it was supposed to be yesterday," Rodriguez said, referring to Nieto's third place in Stage 4.
"Next year, we should do the reverse route, from Labuan Bajo to Larantuka. It would be more challenging," Rodriguez said.
The fifth and shortest stage of Tour de Flores 2017 will start on Tuesday, featuring a 55.5-kilometer ascent from Borong to Ruteng.