Shchebelin reigns in Marocco

The Tour du Maroc concluded in the capital, Casablanca, on Sunday, with Alexey Shchebelin taking the overall win. The Russian gained the lead with a win in stage 4, leading into Taza. Despite strong opposition, the rider from the Cinelli-OPD held on to the lead. Shchebelin also took stages 1a and 7.

Malcolm Lange of South Africa also took three stage wins (stages three, five and eight). Shchebelin's team-mate, the Italian Ivan Fanelli, took the second section of a split stage one and held on to the overall until Shchebelin put a firmer grip on the GC in stage 4.

Naturally, team manager Simone Biasci, who accompanied the team in the adventure in northern Africa, was very happy, stating that "This course can be thought of at being at the limits of 'normal' competitive racing. The reality is that this appears to be a [creation of a] new frontier in road racing... The crowds we encountered every day and the scenic background of Casablanca demonstrated that cycling is in the heart of the local population. I am sure that with the nice racing provided by Shchebelin and team-mates, the jerseys of Cinelli-OPD will remain in their memories for quite some time."

Biasci was also hopeful that the race provided good preparation for the team's upcoming races, culminating at the end of the month with the Italian Championships.

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