Wesley Botton

By Wesley Botton

Chief sports journalist

Historic victory for SA team in Virtual Tour de France

National champion Ryan Gibbons finished third on the final stage of the Virtual Tour de France on Sunday, with South African registered outfit NTT Pro Cycling securing the overall title after dominating the inaugural event.

With all four of the team’s riders finishing in the top 10 on the sixth leg of the three-week contest, which allowed squads to rotate riders, NTT Pro Cycling also won the sprint, king of the mountains, young rider and team classifications.

“It was an absolutely phenomenal ride from the entire team from start to finish,” said Gibbons, who had won the opening stage of the contest to give the team the early lead, which they held throughout the event.

“On every single stage we were fighting for the top step.”

While the real Tour de France was scheduled to be held next month, after the prestigious race was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Gibbons was pleased to be racing again.

“It was good motivation for the riders, but also to get exposure for the teams and sponsors, as well as giving the fans something to watch,” he said.

“All round I think it was a great success, and we’re really happy to have pulled off the win.”

South Africa also made an impact in the women’s race, which was held alongside the men’s event on the Zwift virtual platform, with Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio having won the fifth stage for the CCC-Liv team on Saturday.

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.