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Cycling | SA Cycling

Kristian Sbaragli © Stiehl Photography

Sbaragli bids DiData farewell



Italian rider Kristian Sbaragli on Tuesday participated in his last race for Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka.

Alexandre Geniez (AG2R La Mondiale) won the Tre Valli Varesine, sprinting to the win ahead of Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida).

Sbaragli has been with DiData since the team turned professional in 2013 and he has been an incredible ambassador for Qhubeka and African cycling over the last five years.

His 2015 Vuelta a Espana stage win and top 10 finishing consistency are some of his career highlights at DiData.

"Today was my last race of the year but more importantly it was my last race with the team. I tried to do my best and I was feeling quite good but the race was really hard and the climbers decided the final.

"I would like to say thank you to the team and to all the people I worked with in these five years. We had many good days together and even if I am changing teams in the future, I will always take the project that I have supported for the last five years, Qhubeka, with me.

"This team gave me the chance to turn pro and for this reason I will never forget what they have done for me. It was time for me to change teams now and that is just part of our sport," Sbaragli said after the race.

An early break of six riders animated the opening kilometres of the Tre Valli Varesine but the tough finishing circuit was always going to ensure that only the strongest riders remained for the business end of the race.

With three laps to go Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka was still represented by Sbaragli, Serge Pauwels, Steve Cummings and Amanuel Gebreigzabhier.

Sbaragli and Pauwels were the most attentive at the head of the peloton and ready to follow any dangerous moves.

The final three ascents of the circuit climb did some damage though and when Nibali attacked the reduced peloton with 2km to go, only Pinot, Geniez and Diego Ullissi (UAE Emirates) could respond.

The African team came up empty handed with their best placed rider being Pauwels in 32nd, 37 seconds down on the victors.



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