Bike Aid’s Lucas Carstensen won stage one of the Tropicale Amissa Bongo, which took cyclists on a 146km journey from Kango to Lambarene in Gabon yesterday.
The German won the final bunch sprint to finish in 3:41:52.
Direct Energie’s Adrien Petit (France) was second and Sovac-Natura4Ever’s Youcef Reguigui (Algeria) third.
Carstensen, 23, surprised many when he overtook the favourite, Petit, at the end of a difficult climb in the last few kilometres.
He said afterwards he had studied details of the final section of the stage by swotting up the road book, which probably helped him in the end.
“I knew it was going to be difficult for the sprinters to organise themselves after the last climb,” said the man from Hamburg.
“There was little time to position oneself before the straight, so I wasn’t wrong.
“I began my sprint about 250 metres before the finish. I felt strong and it was a good result for the team and me,” he added.
Full results below.
Stage one results
1. Lucas Carstensen (Bike Aid, Germany) 3:41:52
2. Adrien Petit (Direct Energie, France)
3. Youcef Reguigui (Sovac-Natura4Ever, Algeria)
4. Luca Pacioni (Wilier Triestina-Selle It, Italy)
5. Henok Mulubrhan (Erythree, Eritrea)
6. Tesfom Okubamariam (Erythree, Eritrea)
7. Eugert Zhupa (Wilier Triestina-Selle It, Albania)
8. Brenton Jones (Delko Marseille Proven, Australia)
9. Meron Abraham (Bike Aid, Eritrea)
10. Nicola Toffali (Sporting-Tavira, Italy)