Robert Förster (UnitedHealthcare) resumed his winning ways after taking out the sprint in yesterday’s 152.4 km stage to Xihaizhen in the Tour of Qinghai Lake. The victory was Förster’s sixth in 2011 and continues the German’s impressive run after his switch from the European racing scene at the end of 2009.
"Today was tough, but I'm glad I was able to deliver the win for my team," Förster said after the stage. "Our strategy was good; our guys covered a lot of the breaks that formed today, and I did not want to let them down."
The German was also enthusiastic about the team’s chances in the days ahead.
"We're looking forward to tomorrow as well as the next few stages. If we stay on strategy, hopefully good things will continue to happen."
The UnitedHealthcare team has long been a dominant force in the United States, but having upgraded their license this season to Professional Continental, the team has taken on a broader focus. Förster’s win today comes in addition to the team’s success in the European spring races.
Team Director, Eric Greene, who is leading the squad's efforts in China, is also happy with the way the team has performed so far, particularly considering the quality of the field in this year’s race. Greene was proud of the way the team came together in the final 20 kilometres, after a pretty chaotic finale.
"The boys did what they had to do deliver Robert to the finish," he said. "In the last two kilometres it was up to Robert and once again, he made the right choices and was able capture the stage for the team."