Jesse Sergent hits top form in Portugal

PETER LAMPP
Last updated 12:00 19/02/2013

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Feilding's Jesse Sergent stamped his mark on the Tour of the Algarve, in Portugal.

He finished third in the final stage of the four-day tour, the time trial, and was seventh overall in the field of 165 riders.

That was a big effort for Sergent in his first major road race of the year for his team, which is now known as RadioShack-Leopard.

The first two stages were relatively flat and Sergent finished in the bunch.

Stage three was a tough one which finished with a 2km climb. Sergent lost 40 seconds but limited his losses and decided to put everything into the time trial.

The reigning time-trial world champion, 27-year-old German Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) won the final stage and the overall general classification.

He scorched the 34.8km time trial in 45min 09sec to win from teammate Michal Kwiatkowski, who ceded 1:07 to the flying German, while Sergent was 1:15 down.

His overall placing of seventh was 10 seconds behind team-mate Tiago Machado (Portugal).

Next up is the Tour of West Flanders, in Belgium, over the cobbles, a race Sergent won two years ago and in which he was runnerup last year. His form is getting better by the week.

This week, Manawatu sportsperson of the year Simon van Velthooven competes in the keirin at the world track championships in Belarus.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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