Bike Aid’s Salim Kipkemboi won the 116.7km stage three road race of the Sharjah Tour, which finished in Wadi Al Helo in the United Arab Emirates today.
The Kenyan won a four-man dash for the line to clock in a time of 2:59:52. He beat Kinan Cycling’s Thomas Lebas (France), Delko Marseille Provence’s Javier Moreno Bazan (Spain) and Sovac-Natura4ever’s Davide Rebellin (Italy).
South Africa’s Eddie van Heerden finished fifth overall, soloing home to beat the second six-man bunch sprint for the line.
South African team leader, Bradley Potgieter, said today’s stage went more or less according to plan.
“We set out with the goal to save Eddie,” he told In the Bunch today. “Reynard [Butler] made a break with seven other riders, before being caught with 20km to go.
“I was trying to look after Eddie and Ryan before the climbs to keep them in front and out of the wind. That managed to pay off.
“Thokozani [Mahlangu] and Jan [Montshioa] did a good job to help out when we started the climbs,” Potgieter added.
Van Heerden also commended the team for positioning him well in the race.
“They helped me get into a good position for the first climb,” he said. “I made a move on that climb to lift the pace and to go for the points.
“We were about eight riders going over the hill. None of them wanted to set the pace on the downhill, so then I went for it.
“This ensured some of the other riders wouldn’t catch up,” he added.
Van Heerden also hit the second and final climb with a high pace, which he later regretted, he said.
“At the final King of the Mountains challenge I was hurting,” he said. “I couldn’t follow the final attack after the KOM.
“My earlier efforts caught up to me,” he said, “but I tried to keep the gap from the front riders as small as possible to not lose too much time.
“It worked out well. I’m happy with fifth, and I managed to win the red jersey,” Van Heerden added.
Harris placed 40th overall, Montshioa 48th, Potgieter 90th, Butler 93rd and Mahlangu 98th.
View more results below.
1. Salim Kipkemboi (Bike Aid, Kenya) 2:59:52
2. Thomas Lebas (Kinan Cycling, France)
3. Javier Moreno Bazan (Delko Marseille Provence, Spain)
4. Davide Rebellin (Sovac-Natura4ever, Italy)
5. Eddie van Heerden (South Africa) 3:00:17
6. Nikolay Mihaylov (Delko Marseille Provence, Bulgaria) 3:00:29
7. Jai Crawford (Kinan Cycling, Australia)
8. Suleiman Kangangi (Bike Aid, Kenya)
9. Delio Fernando Cruz (Delko Marseille Provence, Spain)
10. Gabriel Corral (Vib Sports, Spain)
1. Javier Moreno Bazan (Delko Marseille Provence, Spain) 6:45:27
2. Thomas Lebas (Kinan Cycling, France) 6:45:50
3. Nikolay Mihaylov (Delko Marseille Provence, Bulgaria) 6:46:02
4. Salim Kipkemboi (Bike Aid, Kenya) 6:46:05
5. Eddie van Heerden (South Africa) 6:46:16
6. Quentin Pacher (Vital Concept Cycling, France) 6:46:20
7. Delio Fernando Cruz (Delko Marseille Provence, Spain) 6:46:22
8. Davide Rebellin (Sovac-Natura4ever, Italy) 6:46:25
9. Elias van Breussegem (Verandas Willems-Crelan, Belgium) 6:46:27
10. Gabriel Corral (Vib Sports, Spain) 6:46:28