The UCI Continental Circuits Chronicle
– Race of the month –
The Sharjah International Cycling Tour in the United Arab Emirates returned to the UCI Asia Tour for 2018 after a one year absence in 2017. For its first three editions (2013-2015) it held a UCI 2.2 ranking, and was upgraded to UCI 2.1 in 2016, retaining the same ranking for this year.
The four-stage race opened with an individual time trial followed by three road stages covering a total of 377.6 kilometres, and was won this year by Spanish rider Javier Moreno, racing for Delko Marseille Provence KTM.
France's Julien Morice (Vital Concept) won the opening 10.2km time trial to take the leader's jersey, and kept it through the next stage, won by Italian Jakub Mareczko (Wilier Triestina - Selle Italia). Morice lost the overall lead to Moreno in Stage 3, which was won by Salim Kipkemboi (Bike Aid), of Kenya. Although Mareczko won the final stage, in a bunch sprint, Moreno hung on to take the overall victory by three seconds over France's Thomas Lebas (Kinan Cycling).
2018 Final Standings
1. Javier Moreno (ESP), Delko Marseille Provence KTM, 8:52:32
2. Thomas Lebas (FRA), Kinan Cycling Team, at 0:03
3. Nikolay Mihaylov (BUL), Delko Marseille Provence KTM, at 0:15
4. Salim Kipkemboi (KEN), Bike Aid, at 0:17
5. Quentin Pacher (FRA), Vital Concept, at 0:33
– UCI Continental Circuits rankings as of February 4, 2018 –
UCI Africa Tour - Willem Jakobus Smit (RSA)
UCI America Tour - Serghei Tvetcov (ROU)
UCI Asia Tour - Thomas Lebas (FRA)
UCI Europe Tour - Nacer Bouhanni (FRA)
UCI Oceania Tour - Lucas Hamilton (AUS)
UCI Africa Tour - Bike Aid
UCI America Tour - Rally Cycling
UCI Asia Tour - Team Ukyo
UCI Europe Tour - Cofidis, Solutions Credits
UCI Oceania Tour - Bennelong Swisswellness
UCI Africa Tour - Eritrea
UCI America Tour - Colombia
UCI Asia Tour - Kazakhstan
UCI Europe Tour - France
UCI Oceania Tour - Australia
– Focus on Thomas Lebas (FRA) –
Thomas Lebas of France became the first leader of the UCI Asia Tour for 2018 after a strong performance in the Sharjah Tour (UCI 2.1) at the end of January, finishing second overall. Riding for the Continental level Japanese-based Kinan Cycling Team, the 33-year-old rider has been steadily moving up the rankings for the past six months. In October 2017 he finished second in Stage 4 of the Tour of Iran (UCI 2.1) and tenth overall. He followed that up shortly afterwards with fifth place in the Japan Cup Cycle Road Race (UCI 1.HC). At the Sharjah Tour, he was second in Stage 3 before finishing second overall in both the General Classification and Mountain Classification.