Belkin stretched their unbeaten run at the Tour of Hainan to seven straight stages with Theo Bos once again coming out on top. The Dutch WorldTeam have won every stage in the race and with Moreno Hofland leading the overall standings the event has moved into the realms of procession with two stages remaining.
On stage 7, 217km from Wuzhishan to Dongfang, the team grabbed the first four places and in doing so became the second most successful team in the WorldTour behind Omega Pharma-QuickStep. Belkin is the only WorldTour team in the race.
"We really had to work to make it a bunch sprint today," said Sports Director Michiel Elijzen.
"The first nine kilometres were uphill and that made it very hard. Just after the top, only Theo and Dennis van Winden weren’t with the first 32. Theo had to chase for around 100 kilometres. When he returned, the team controlled and reeled in a small break that was formed later.”
Elijzen sees no letting up with the team aiming at winning the final two stages before sealing the overall too.
“It’s a healthy greed,” added Elijzen. "I do not think anyone can really make us suffer, but if we were to get in trouble, we have several riders who are able to pick up the slack – as has been the case all week.
“We are seven for seven, we would like to make it nine for nine. Besides that, we want to win the GC. If we manage to do that we’ll have 38 victories for the year. We can say we’ve had a successful season then.”
Winner of five stages thus far at the Tour of Hainan, Theo Bos defended the team’s tactics and position: “Maybe in such a situation it doesn’t look nice that we don’t give any other team a chance to win but it’s also a professional sport. We train hard to win races. We take the Tour of Hainan very seriously.”