Cycling-No VAR needed as Johannessen celebrates too early in Classic

  • Cycling
  • Saturday, 17 Feb 2024

Cycling - Tour de France - Stage 17 - Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc to Courchevel - France - July 19, 2023 Uno-X Pro Cycling Team's Tobias Halland Johannessen crosses the finish line after stage 17 REUTERS/Stephane Mahe/ File photo

(Reuters) - Cyclist Tobias Halland Johannessen raised his fist aloft in celebration only to see victory snatched on the line by Lenny Martinez at the Classic Var in the South of France on Friday.

The one-day race finished at the top of Mont Faron and Johannessen was in the leading group of six riders coming up the final climb, before Romain Bardet made a break for victory.

Johannessen was the only one who kept pace and when he overtook Bardet close to the line it looked like the Norwegian would ease to victory.

Instead, he eased up to celebrate coming around the final bend, unaware that Martinez was still pumping the pedals close behind.

Martinez didn't give up, and after overtaking the tired Bardet he pipped Johannessen on the line who could only raise his hand again, this time in disbelief, as the French Groupama-FDJ rider stole the win.

(Reporting by Trevor Stynes; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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