Tour of Beijing: Benat Intxausti completes overall victory as Luka Mezgec wins stage five
Last Updated: 16/10/13 3:40pm
Luka Mezgec outsprinted Nacer Bouhanni, left
Spain's Benat Intxausti completed overall victory at the Tour of Beijing as Slovenia's Luka Mezgec sprinted to victory on the final stage.
Intxausti (Movistar) finished safely in the peloton to seal a ten-second victory over runner-up Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) and third-placed David Lopez (Team Sky).
Mezgec (Argos-Shimano) claimed his first win of the year by beating France's Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) by a bike's length alongside the Bird's Nest Stadium, with Moreno Hofland (Belkin) taking third.
The 25-year-old, who had finished on the podium nine times in 2013 but never on the top step, followed in Bouhanni's slipstream when the Frenchman launched his sprint 100m out and then powered past at the death.
Intxausti followed in 28th place on the day to clinch the biggest stage-race victory of his career and put a silver lining on a season in which he also won a stage of the Giro d'Italia.
Flecha bows out
The final day of the 2013 UCI WorldTour was also illuminated by Juan Antonio Flecha (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Marco Pinotti (BMC) both infiltrating a five-man breakaway on their last and penultimate outings as professional cyclists respectively.
Christian Meier (Orica-GreenEdge), Manuele Boaro (Saxo-Tinkoff) and Olivier Kaisen (Lotto-Belisol) were the other three men in the escape on a 117km stage starting in Tian'anmen Square and ending with 12 laps of a 7.5km finishing circuit around the Bird's Nest Piazza.
The quintet opened up a maximum lead of just under two minutes, but with Intxausti's Movistar team marshalling the peloton for much of the day and the sprint trains taking over later, they were kept on a tight leash and were eventually caught 4.5km from home.
Flecha and Pinotti, who will both retire after this season, shared the award for the stage's most aggressive rider.
Argos-Shimano immediately began setting the pace, but FDJ ghosted to the front inside the last kilometre and Bouhanni looked almost certain to take his third win of the race. However, Mezgec had other ideas and stormed back to end his season of near-misses.
Stage five result
1 Luka Mezgec (Slo) Argos-Shimano, 2:23:56
2 Nacer Nouhanni (Fra) FDJ, same time
3 Moreno Hofland (Ned) Belkin, st
4 Matti Breschel (Den) Saxo-Tinkoff, st
5 Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida, st
6 Alexey Tsatevitch (Rus) Katusha, st
7 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, st
8 Rudiger Selig (Ger) Katusha, st
9 Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) Ag2r-La Mondiale, st
10 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team Sky, st
Final general classification
1 Benat Intxausti (Spa) Movistar, 19:35:46
2 Dan Martin (Ire) Garmin-Sharp, +10secs
3 David Lopez (Spa) Team Sky, +13
4 Rui Costa (Por) Movistar, +18
5 Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale, +24
6 Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, same time
7 Jan Bakelants (Bel) RadioShack-Leopard, +26
8 Robert Gesink (Ned) Belkin, st
9 Ivan Basso (Ita) Cannondale, st
10 Garikoitz Bravo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi, +31