Africa’s Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka ended their Tour de France with another fourth-place finish on Sunday.
It was Norway’s Edvald Boasson Hagen who sprinted to fourth down the Champs-Elysee in Paris, his second fourth-place finish of the tour, and the best place achieved by Team Dimension Data in this year’s tour.
Alexander Kristoff (UAE-Emirates) won the final stage, sprinting to victory on cycling’s most famous finishing stretch. John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) finished in second place and Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) was third.
The final stage of the 105th edition of the Tour de France saw the familiar procession take place as riders left Houilles for the 116-kilometre journey to the finish-line in Paris. After the customary champagne and congratulatory photos were shared, the peloton reached the Champs-Elysee for one final hit out.
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka were out to deliver Boasson Hagen to the line once again, remembering the Norwegian had placed third on the Champs-Elysee last year and fourth in both 2016 and 2015 for our African team. This year, our five-rider team did a great job to place Boasson Hagen in a competitive position for the final sprint to the line.
Tom-Jelte Slagter and Jay Thomson did some of the early positioning work before Julien Vermote and Reinardt Janse van Rensburg performed the leadout in the final seven kilometres. Boasson Hagen rounded the final bend in eigthh position and leaped into his sprint, gaining four places before reaching his maximum possible output.
Kristoff took the victory with the Norwegian once again taking fourth place.
Slagter, Vermote, Thomson and Janse van Rensburg all finished with the main group to successfully complete their 2018 Tour de France.
Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) won the race overall, the first ever victory by a Welshman in the history of the race. Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) placed second and Chris Froome (Team Sky) rounded out the general classification podium.
Said Boasson Hagen on Dimension Data’s efforts: ‘It was a really hard Tour de France. Today the guys were really good once again, keeping me up front. I was in a good position for the sprint but I finished fourth.
‘It was not really what I wanted but it was good to get these three tough weeks done. Now we look ahead to the rest of the season where I hope we can get some better results.
‘I’ve finished a few Tours now but this was certainly one of the hardest, I’m happy it’s done and happy I could complete it with these great guys. Also, well done to Jay Thomson for finishing his first Tour de France.’
Dimension Data ended 21st of 22 teams in that category, 5hr 56min 10sec behind the winning outfit, Movistar. Netherlands rider Slagter was the team’s highest placed individual rider, 59th and 2:13:58 behind Welsh winner Thomas of Team Sky.