Dubai: Marc Hirschi and UAE Team Emirates showed a lot of poise and control to take home the overall crown at the Tour of Luxembourg.
UAE Team Emirates controlled the pace at the head of affairs picking off bonus seconds and keeping an eye on their rivals on the circuit finish from Mersch to Luxembourg (177km).
Jan Christian and Felix Grossschartner controlled the pace in the final kilometres with Brandon McNulty and Diego Ulissi waiting in the wings to follow attacks. The stage was won by Tobias Johannessen (Uno-X), who slipped away on the final lap but was no threat to the overall classification, which Hirschi took by three seconds over McNulty and 5 seconds to his nearest rival Ben Healy (Education First Easypost).
The Emirati squad also picked up the team prize to top-off a successful week.
An elated Hirschi said: “It was a very stressful stage. A big break went at the start, which suited us but some of the other teams wanted to bring it back so it kept the speed high all day and it was hard. On the steep climb on the circuit I had to keep an eye on Healy as he was so close. In the end we kept the gap so I’m really happy. I had a very strong team with me, who did amazing work and kept me relaxed even though Healy was so close. It’s a race that suits me well and I’m delighted to finally win here.”
Hirschi continued his strong run of form by taking the leaders jersey after stage 4. Hirschi started the penultimate stage, just 18″ off the overall lead and took big time out of Healy (Education First Easypost), enough to clinch the leaders jersey heading into the final day.
Stage 5 results:
1.Tobias Johannessen (Uno-X) 4:07:25
2.Alex Aranburu (Movistar) +8’’
3.Franck Bonnamour (AG2R Citroen) s.t
1.Marc Hirschi (UAE Team Emirates) 17:15:11
2.Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates) +3’’
3.Ben Healy (Education First Easypost) +5’’
5.Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) +35’’
7.Felix Grossschartner (UAE Team Emirates) +39’’