Lincoln solos to Curepipe

Overall victory perfect preparation for upcoming African Championships

On the western coast of Mauritius is a village called Tamarin. It has the most favourable weather on the Indian Ocean island. Wind and kite surfers from all over the world converge on this piece of coastline to pursue their passions. Mountain bikers can now be added to the list of visitors.

The last stage of the 6th Tour of Mauritius was a moderate 30km. Yannick Lincoln looked to be untouchable. The race leader was over 26 minutes ahead of second place Gil Guillaumin, but third place was not so secure.

Immediately after leaving the Mauritian sporting playground of Tamarin, veteran cyclist Georget Burel missed the select chasing group. He was sitting third on GC after a solid ride in Saturday's 85km stage. Burel rode steadily through all the stages of the tour, and he performed best in the 85km stage.

"I was focusing on this stage," said Burel. "In a long distance race, I knew this course would decide the top riders."

Yet Burel's podium place was now under siege from a fast-pacing Emmanuel. With only 10 minutes to spare, Burel's didn't realize the magnitude of being left behind.

Up front, the leader stamped his authority on the tour. The route traced Saturday's descent, only this time it went in reverse. After the sugar cane splattered climb, at 14km into the stage, Lincoln was already 1:50 ahead of Guillaumin, Christian Emmanuel and Cedric Passee. Lincoln powered his way over the course. He was ever attentive in the final stage.

He revealed later that he was nervous. "In mountain biking, until you cross the finish line anything can happen. You can break a chain, have a flat, or you can take a wrong road."

Burel, however was playing with fire. His pedaling, although fluid, lacked his usual power. On the other hand, Guillaumin and Lincoln had nothing to fear from the battle-weary contingent remaining. The top two places were secure. A natural pecking order had already been established.

Once Lincoln passed over the plateau and the Curepipe chouchou fields were in his sights, he knew the Tour of Mauritius was in the bag. The Curepipe Starlight Sports Club welcomed his arrival with a checkered flag. This is Lincoln's training ground. He lives in the town of Curepipe close to the crater Trou aux Cerfs.

Before Lincoln can settle down he will need to pack his bags for the next milestone. His sights are set on the African Road Racing championships, especially the time trial. "I would like to do a good time trial. Mountain biking and time trialling are very good together."

Burel finished comfortably 4:37 behind Emmanuel, and he said he was always in control of his podium placing. "I was not worried about Emmanuel. It was a short stage, not enough to take back the time."

Second place rider Guillamin rode consistently to wrap up his best placing yet. An exuberant Guillaumin said, "It was a big surprise."

Victory in this tour has prepared Lincoln well for Africa's best. What he will take with him is race-winning condition. Lincoln will swap his sugar cane and chouchou fields of Mauritius for the altitude and asphalt of Namibia. He will also need to switch a mountain bike for a time trial bike. It is a transition that Lincoln will make in his usual approach - dedicated, focused and with panache.

Burel dominated the veteran's category and the junior field was won by a promising Olivier Le Court.

Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Yannick Lincoln1:28:43 
2Yannick Cornille0:07:16 
3Christian Emmanuel (ACPR)  
4Cedric Passee (Standard Bank)0:07:35 
5Gil Guillaumin (ACPR)0:08:46 
6Frederic Savre0:09:17 
7Georget Burel (ACPR)0:12:12 
8Armand Le Court De Billot0:12:39 
9Christophe Lincoln  
10Dany Vogel (Germany)0:12:51 
11Thierry David0:13:29 
12Andreas Freiter (Germany)0:13:49 
13Sebastien Tyack0:16:41 
14Liam Somers0:17:07 
15Christophe Gerard0:18:05 
16Olivier Le Court0:22:33 
17Simon Savre  
18Denis Valentin0:22:55 
19Arnaud De Commarmond0:25:05 
20Mathieu Rivet0:27:12 
21Olivier Heutte0:27:24 
22Daniel Chaussalet (ACPR)0:27:42 
23Arnaud Li0:28:55 
24Guillaume Merven0:39:32 
25Jean Philippe (Jnr) Tyack0:39:41 
26Jean Philippe Tyack  
27Lawrence Wong0:42:04 
28Daniel Maestracci0:47:08 
29Hans Brasse0:47:30 
30Sully Robert (ACPR)0:51:06 
31Stephane Payet (ACPR)0:51:49 
32Simon Pougnet0:52:44 
33Laurent Bigaignon0:56:45 
34Dhiren Rambhujun0:59:59 
35YANN Merven1:01:11 
36Rodolf Tyack1:02:43 
37YAN De Robillard1:03:44 
38Malen Ramasawmy1:04:52 
39Popo Babajee1:06:21 
40Francois Narainen1:06:32 
41Loic Merven1:09:38 
42Gerard Chan-Kin1:11:14 
43Robert Koo1:16:08 
44Kesaven Oothendee1:23:13 
45Antoine Dufoix1:43:36 
46Fareed Kurmally1:43:47 
47Vincent Merven1:45:07 
Final general classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Yannick Lincoln7:23:44 
2Gil Guillaumin (ACPR)0:35:35 
3Georget Burel (ACPR)0:49:47 
4Christian Emmanuel (ACPR)0:54:54 
5Cedric Passee (Standard Bank)1:11:32 
6Yannick Cornille1:12:57 
7Christophe Gerard1:14:58 
8Andreas Freiter (Germany)1:19:13 
9Dany Vogel (Germany)1:19:48 
10Frederic Savre1:42:06 
11Liam Somers1:47:52 
12Armand Le Court De Billot1:49:07 
13Olivier Le Court2:00:40 
14Arnaud De Commarmond2:03:57 
15Thierry David2:06:46 
16Denis Valentin2:13:36 
17Mathieu Rivet2:16:26 
18Olivier Heutte2:34:05 
19Stephane Payet (ACPR)2:44:13 
20Daniel Chaussalet (ACPR)2:58:59 
21Lawrence Wong3:06:03 
22Sebastien Tyack3:07:26 
23Daniel Maestracci3:25:31 
24Jean Philippe (Jnr) Tyack3:31:02 
25Jean Philippe Tyack3:32:49 
26Sully Robert (ACPR)3:56:08 
27Hans Brasse5:32:59 
28Gerard Chan-Kin5:54:36 
29Kesaven Oothendee7:06:39 
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