Argentina’s Jose Juan Haedo on Sunday won the inaugural Tour de Mumbai, India’s first professional cycling race sanctioned by the sport’s governing body.
The Team Saxo Bank sprinter took the 50,000-dollar first prize after shaking free of Germany’s Dirk Mueller, from Team Nutrixxion-Sparkasse, on the final lap of the 100-kilometre (60-mile) course.
The pair had been part of a six-man breakaway for much of the race, which took place in searing temperatures in Mumbai’s northern suburbs, but they struck out together with four of the 36 laps to go.
”Mumbai Classics is a new race with big ambitions for the future and it was a first time to India for all of us. They rode super together and controlled the bunch consisting mainly of Asian continental teams. JJ and Cooke broke clear of the bunch and with two laps to go, JJ took off in the winning break with Dirk Muller (Nutrixxion) and he easily won the sprint,” says sports director Bradley McGee after Team Saxo Banks second win in three days.
German rider Tobias Erler, from the Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team, was third. He also took the 5,000-dollar sprint prize.
The event boasted more than 100 riders, including Australian sprinter Baden Cooke, who was fourth, and fellow countryman Stuart O’Grady, who finished in the peloton.
The race was part of a wider mass participation “cyclothon” event for children and adults designed to raise the profile of cycling in cricket-obsessed India, as well as improve health and fitness.
Photo by: Tim De Waele (Courtesy of Team Saxo bank)