Matt Gibson takes consecutive top-ten finishes at Tour of Istria

Matt Gibson takes consecutive top-ten finishes at Tour of Istria

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Matt Gibson took a second consecutive top-ten finish at the Tour of Istria with sixth place at Saturday’s stage two.

The 17-year-old, who ended in fourth place on stage one, finished in the peloton 13 seconds back from German winner Lennard Kamna on the 99-kilometre stage from Umag to Labin.

Gibson now sits 26 seconds back from leader Aurelien Paret-Peintre in the general classification ahead of Sunday’s final stage, a 122-kilometre journey from Vrsa to Pula.

“It was a good team performance,” coach Matt Winston said. “After yesterday I challenged the lads to be more aggressive in their racing.

“I felt yesterday we sat back a little bit and soaked things up and let the race happen in front of us. We got a good result in fourth but didn’t get stuck in as much as we could have done.”

A series of crashes caused by wet weather forced a large split in the peloton with Gibson and Joe Evans in a leading group of 30 who had built a lead of one minute and 20 seconds.

But another crash forced Gibson to drop back and wait for peloton which then upped the pace to bring back the breakaway group with less than 20-kilometres remaining.

Gabriel Cullaigh was involved in the day’s final break but it was to no avail, all but Kamna caught at the bottom of the four-kilometre final ascent to the finish in Labin.

Joe Evans then delivered Gibson to the bottom of the climb and Gibson battled hard to keep his general classification hopes alive.

“I asked them to be more aggressive in their racing and they definitely were,” Winston said. “All the lads were following moves, going with moves and looking after each other.

“We were a lot more prominent at the front of the bike race today, a good day really.”

The Tour of Istria is the second event in the 2014 UCI Juniors Nations' Cup.

Results

1. Lennard Kamna (Germany) 2:34:17
2. Aurelien Paret-Peintre (France)                          
3. Pierre Idjouadienne (France)
6. Matt Gibson (Great Britain) 0.13
15. Gabriel Culliagh (Great Britain) 0.16
30. Joe Evans (Great Britain) 0.30
59. Matt Bostock (Great Britain) 1.40
87. Joe Fry (Great Britain) 14.20
100. Leon Gledhill (Great Britain) 15.11

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