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"It’s just a shame we got pipped in the WorldTour team ranking right at the end there by Movistar. We wanted to keep that title but Movistar have been really consistent during the latter part of the season and they deserve to be...

Photo: Sirotti










15.10.2013 @ 14:46 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

David Lopez finished 3rd in the Tour of Beijing but his WorldTour points wasn't enough for the team to defend their lead in the WorldTour teams classification. Sports director Marcus Ljungqvist was full of praise for his Spanish rider and congratulated the rival team with their win.


As CyclingQuotes had already calculated yesterday, Team Sky would lose their lead in the UCI WorldTour teams ranking in the last race if something unexpected didn't happen on the final flat stage of the Tour of Beijing. The final day ended with the expected bunch sprint and so the team was disposed from the lead they had had since Richie Porte won the Paris-Nice in March.


Movistar won the season-long competition by virtue of a strong finish in Beijing where Benat Intxausti and Rui Costa finished 1st and 4th respectively. Sky's David Lopez was 3rd but as he is not one of the five best Sky riders on the individual rankings, his points don't count for the teams classification.


Richie Porte is in the top 5 and so the team had brought their Australian star to China in the hope that he could defend the position but the Australian lost 17 minutes on stage 3 before abandoning the race one day later. Sports director Marcus Ljungqvist was happy to see Lopez step into the captaincy role but regretted the lost position as the world's leading team.


“It’s a really good result for David," he said. He’s finishing the season in really strong form and will be one to watch in the Japan Cup next week. It’s just a shame we got pipped in the WorldTour team ranking right at the end there by Movistar. We wanted to keep that title but Movistar have been really consistent during the latter part of the season and they deserve to be congratulated for that."


The final stage was a flat circuit race in Beijing and always expected to end in a bunch sprint. Sky put Bernhard Eisel in the mix with the Austrian finished 10th.


“Today’s stage was another straightforward one and we reverted to our tactic of looking after David whilst allowing Mat [Hayman] to lead out Bernie at the finish," Ljungqvist said. "Bernie worked well but just got boxed in a bit on the barrier at the end there.

“All-in-all it’s been an enjoyable race. Everything was well organised and the route was definitely more exciting this year. The climbing made it a lot more open and we’ll look forward to coming back here next year.”

The race was the last for Mathew Hayman in Sky colours as he will join Orica-GreenEDGE next year. Ljungqvist was full of praise of one of the team's hardest working riders.


“Mat’s been a fantastic servant to this team and has been with us right from the start," he said. "We all want to wish him the best for the future and we’ll definitely raise a toast to him this evening to show our appreciation.”

Sky will end their season on Sunday in the Japan Cup.



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