Ever placed Benjamin Giraud finally caps it off

Sulzberger retains lead with one criterium to go

While mountain bikers are usually known for their transformation as great climbers on the road, Frenchman Benjamin Giraud of La Pomme-Marseille has set an exception to the rule as he became an excellent sprinter but it wasn't a standard victory with just a bunch sprint finish that he claimed at the end of stage 6 in the Tour of Taiwan. Firstly, he was the first attacker of the day, from km 3 to 10, together with Champion System's Mart Ojavee. Secondly, he survived a long and hard climb to be able to come across to the 22 leaders in the finale. Thirdly, he could only count on one team-mate, South Africa's Chris Jennings who had ridden aggressively earlier on, to face the head wind and bring him back onto the attackers alongside the Taiwan Strait ahead of a bunch gallop.

"I didn't panic", Giraud told Cyclingnews after the finish. "As we passed the finishing road the other way round during the stage, I knew what the last 200 metres were like, and it was exactly to my taste as I prefer slightly uphill finishes. In the sprint, I always kept the situation under my control with an advantage of two length of a bike. I'm delighted. This is my first win at category 1 level. Some people might disregard it as it is a race in Asia but the Tour de Taiwan is a very nice race with an unbelievable battle every day from km 0 till the end. It's important for my team to win here on our Taiwanese bikes CKT. I know it's not China here but last year, in China, I finished seven times in the top 3 and nineteen times in the top 10 at the three races I took part in: Tour of Qinghai Lake, Tour of Hainan, Tour of Taihu Lake. It was time for me to win. It brings a totally different feeling to be a winner."

His continental team La Pomme-Marseille was continuously at the front with Thomas Vaubourzeix riding away from the bunch for fifty kilometers, initially with Joe Cooper (Huon-Genesys), Yoshimitsu Hiratsuka (Aisan), Dennis van Niekerk (MTN-Qhubeka) and Takero Terasaki (Japan) and later with counter attacker Liu Hao (Max Success) who missed a curve in a downhill and made his way back on the road through some cars parked at an intersection.

Full action went on in the in the main climb of the day, Bei Route 28, when the Champion System team sent on form Malaysian Adiq Hussainie to the front to capture the points at the top and therefore secure Feng Chun Kai's polka dot jersey for good. Hong Kong's Choi Ki Ho tried to go away but was followed closely by Saufi Mat Senan of Terengganu who is his biggest rival for the best Asian rider competition. The MTN-Qhubeka riders put race leader Sulzberger in difficulty. A group of 22 leaders was eventually formed in the downhill: Bradley White (Unitedhealthcare), Morten Sandvik (Froy-Bianchi), Sulzberger and Robbie Hucker (Drapac), Nathan Earle, Jai Crawford and Anthony Giacoppo (Huon-Genesys), Yuzuru Suzuki (Shimano), Benjamin Sydlik (Nutrixxion), Masakazu Ito (Aisan), Van Niekerk, Louis Meintjes and Tsgabu Grmay (MTN-Qhubeka), Liu and Huang En (Max Success), Kirill Pozdnyakov (Baku) and Liam Holohan (Madison), Hussainie, Choi, Saufi, Jennings and Vaubourzeix.

Jennings and Holohan went away before the group got reined in. They surrendered with 10km to go. From 5 to 3km to go, there was a duo at the front with stage 3 winner Shahrul Mat Amin who stuck to the wheel of Choi who was trying to regain the lead of the best Asian classification from his team-mate and best friend Saufi. This fight for the blue jersey is expected to go during the final criterium in Taipei on Sunday morning, so is the competition for the third place overall between Meintjes and Pozdnyakov.

Sulzberger is aware that another Drapac rider, Rhys Pollock, who led and eventually won the Tour de Taiwan last year, sustained a crash during the final stage. "I hope not to do that, I've had a lot of bad luck in my career already", said the Tasmanian. "I'm confident to win this race. The hardest part was today when I got isolated for a little while."

 

Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Benjamin Giraud (Fra) Team La Pomme Marseille2:37:51 
2Grischa Janorschke (Ger) NUTRIXXION ABUS  
3Adiq Othman (Mas) Champion System Pro Cycling Team  
4Anthony Giacoppo (Aus) Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Adviser  
5Daniel Summerhill (USA) UnitedHealthCare Pro Cycling  
6Mohammad Saufi Mat Senan (Mas) Terengganu Cycling Team  
7Mohd Nur Rizuan Zainal (Mas) Malaysia National Team  
8Benjamin Edmüller (Ger) ARBÖ-Gebrüder Weiss-Oberndorfer  
9Takero Terasaki (Jpn) Japan National Team  
10Louis Meintjes (RSA) MTN Qhubeka  
11Sai-Udomsin Phuchong (Tha) Thailand National Team  
12Boonratanathanakorn Thurakit (Tha) Thailand National Team  
13Petr Lechner (Cze) ARBÖ-Gebrüder Weiss-Oberndorfer  
14Ryoma Nonaka (Jpn) Shimano Racing Team  
15Hao Liu (Chn) Max Success Sports Cycling Team  
16Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) MTN Qhubeka  
17Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) DRAPAC Cycling  
18Hayato Yoshida (Jpn) Shimano Racing Team  
19Jai Crawford (Aus) Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Adviser  
20Bradley White (USA) UnitedHealthCare Pro Cycling  
21Sigurd Nesset (Nor) Team Frøy-Bianchi  
22Kirill Pozdnyakov (Rus) Synergy Baku Cycling Project Team  
23Morten Sandvik (Nor) Team Frøy-Bianchi  
24King Lok Cheung (HKg) Team Hong Kong China  
25Sirironnachai Sarawut (Tha) Thailand National Team  
26Liam Holohan (GBr) Madison Genesis Team  
27Chun Kai Feng (Tpe) Champion System Pro Cycling Team  
28Masakazu Ito (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team  
29Muhammad Fauzan Ahmad Lufti (Mas) Malaysia National Team  
30Ki Ho Choi (HKg) Team Hong Kong China  
31Mohd Shahrul Mat Amin (Mas) Terengganu Cycling Team  
32Yuzuru Suzuki (Jpn) Shimano Racing Team  
33Po Hung Wu (Tpe) Team Senter - Merida  
34Halvor Tandrevold (Nor) Team Frøy-Bianchi  
35Nathan Earle (Aus) Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Adviser  
36Mark Dowling (Irl) Polygon Sweet Nice Team  
37Dirk Müller (Ger) NUTRIXXION ABUS  
38Oddbjørn Klomtsen Andersen (Nor) Team Frøy-Bianchi  
39Ryan Sherlock (Irl) Polygon Sweet Nice Team  
40Hiroki Nishimura (Jpn) Japan National Team  
41Dennis Van Niekerk (RSA) MTN Qhubeka  
42Chen Lu Qin (Chn) Max Success Sports Cycling Team  
43John Kronborg Ebsen (Den) Synergy Baku Cycling Project Team  
44Lee Rodgers (GBr) CCN Cycling Team  
45Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) MTN Qhubeka  
46Benjamin Sydlik (Ger) NUTRIXXION ABUS  
47Ohko Shimizu (Jpn) Japan National Team  
48Yin Chih Wang (Tpe) CCN Cycling Team  
49Yoshimitsu Hiratsuka (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team  
50Jakub Kratochvila (Cze) ARBÖ-Gebrüder Weiss-Oberndorfer  
51Floris Goesinnen (Ned) DRAPAC Cycling  
52Thomas Vaubourzeix (Fra) Team La Pomme Marseille0:00:11 
53Christopher Jenninngs (RSA) Team La Pomme Marseille0:00:14 
54Ian Bibby (GBr) Madison Genesis Team0:00:23 
55Max Walsleben (Ger) NUTRIXXION ABUS0:00:31 
56Rick Ampler (Ger) NUTRIXXION ABUS0:00:35 
57Brennan Townshend (GBr) Madison Genesis Team0:00:39 
58Kohei Uchima (Jpn) Japan National Team  
59Johann Van Zyl (RSA) MTN Qhubeka0:01:12 
60Patrick Shaw (Aus) Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Adviser0:01:37 
61Robbie Hucker (Aus) DRAPAC Cycling  
62Takeaki Ayabe (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team  
63Thomas Palmer (Aus) DRAPAC Cycling0:04:01 
64Hui Zhang (Chn) Max Success Sports Cycling Team0:06:26 
65Liphongyu Navuti (Tha) Thailand National Team  
66Burr Ho (HKg) Team Hong Kong China  
67En Huang (Chn) Max Success Sports Cycling Team  
68Yasuharo Nakajima (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team  
69Mohd Nor Umardi Rosdi (Mas) Terengganu Cycling Team  
70Yat Wai Chan (HKg) Team Hong Kong China  
71Mohd Saiful Anwar Azis (Mas) Terengganu Cycling Team  
72Hsin Hua Huang (Tpe) Team Senter - Merida  
73Joseph Cooper (NZl) Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Adviser  
74Andreas Müller (Aut) ARBÖ-Gebrüder Weiss-Oberndorfer  
75Che Wei Hu (Tpe) Team Senter - Merida  
76Luke Keough (USA) UnitedHealthCare Pro Cycling  
77Shimpei Fukuda (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team  
78Ahmad Fahmi Farhan Ahmad Fuat (Mas) Malaysia National Team  
79Jonathan Clarke (Aus) UnitedHealthCare Pro Cycling  
80Mart Ojavee (Est) Champion System Pro Cycling Team  
81Dominic Jelfs (Irl) Madison Genesis Team  
82Zachary Bell (Can) Champion System Pro Cycling Team  
83David Clarke (GBr) Synergy Baku Cycling Project Team0:06:44 
84Kun Hung Hung (Tpe) Team Senter - Merida  
85Fabian Schnaidt (Ger) Champion System Pro Cycling Team  
86Yi Hao Tseng (Tpe) Team Senter - Merida  
87Chun Wing Leung (HKg) Team Hong Kong China  
88Gordon Mccauley (NZl) DRAPAC Cycling0:06:47 
89Christoph Scweizer (Ger) Synergy Baku Cycling Project Team0:07:44 
90Anuar Manan (Mas) Synergy Baku Cycling Project Team0:11:58 
91Nur Arif Prayoga (Ina) Polygon Sweet Nice Team  
92Shotaro Iribe (Jpn) Shimano Racing Team  
93Masahiko Yasui (Jpn) Shimano Racing Team  
94Andrew Tennant (GBr) Madison Genesis Team  
General classification after Stage 6
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) DRAPAC Cycling17:40:50 
2Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) MTN Qhubeka0:00:27 
3Louis Meintjes (RSA) MTN Qhubeka0:00:28 
4Kirill Pozdnyakov (Rus) Synergy Baku Cycling Project Team  
5Nathan Earle (Aus) Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Adviser0:00:31 
6Oddbjørn Klomtsen Andersen (Nor) Team Frøy-Bianchi0:00:37 
7Mohammad Saufi Mat Senan (Mas) Terengganu Cycling Team0:00:41 
8Ki Ho Choi (HKg) Team Hong Kong China  
9Liam Holohan (GBr) Madison Genesis Team0:00:43 
10Masakazu Ito (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team0:00:47 
11Adiq Othman (Mas) Champion System Pro Cycling Team0:00:49 
12Sigurd Nesset (Nor) Team Frøy-Bianchi0:00:53 
13Robbie Hucker (Aus) DRAPAC Cycling0:00:55 
14Sai-Udomsin Phuchong (Tha) Thailand National Team0:00:59 
15Yuzuru Suzuki (Jpn) Shimano Racing Team0:01:04 
16Jai Crawford (Aus) Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Adviser  
17Yoshimitsu Hiratsuka (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team0:01:06 
18Morten Sandvik (Nor) Team Frøy-Bianchi0:01:08 
19Po Hung Wu (Tpe) Team Senter - Merida0:01:19 
20Anthony Giacoppo (Aus) Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Adviser0:01:20 
21Muhammad Fauzan Ahmad Lufti (Mas) Malaysia National Team0:01:35 
22Chen Lu Qin (Chn) Max Success Sports Cycling Team0:01:36 
23Mark Dowling (Irl) Polygon Sweet Nice Team0:01:39 
24King Lok Cheung (HKg) Team Hong Kong China0:01:40 
25Sirironnachai Sarawut (Tha) Thailand National Team0:01:46 
26John Kronborg Ebsen (Den) Synergy Baku Cycling Project Team0:01:47 
27Dirk Müller (Ger) NUTRIXXION ABUS0:02:03 
28Ryan Sherlock (Irl) Polygon Sweet Nice Team0:02:08 
29Boonratanathanakorn Thurakit (Tha) Thailand National Team0:02:10 
30Hao Liu (Chn) Max Success Sports Cycling Team0:02:25 
31Benjamin Giraud (Fra) Team La Pomme Marseille0:02:26 
32Christopher Jenninngs (RSA) Team La Pomme Marseille0:02:58 
33Hayato Yoshida (Jpn) Shimano Racing Team0:03:01 
34Mohd Shahrul Mat Amin (Mas) Terengganu Cycling Team0:03:16 
35Chun Kai Feng (Tpe) Champion System Pro Cycling Team0:03:33 
36Floris Goesinnen (Ned) DRAPAC Cycling0:03:50 
37Lee Rodgers (GBr) CCN Cycling Team0:04:08 
38Thomas Vaubourzeix (Fra) Team La Pomme Marseille0:04:15 
39Ryoma Nonaka (Jpn) Shimano Racing Team0:04:19 
40Grischa Janorschke (Ger) NUTRIXXION ABUS0:04:43 
41Ohko Shimizu (Jpn) Japan National Team0:04:56 
42Yin Chih Wang (Tpe) CCN Cycling Team0:05:39 
43Benjamin Edmüller (Ger) ARBÖ-Gebrüder Weiss-Oberndorfer0:05:45 
44Ian Bibby (GBr) Madison Genesis Team0:06:33 
45Johann Van Zyl (RSA) MTN Qhubeka0:07:01 
46Dennis Van Niekerk (RSA) MTN Qhubeka0:07:02 
47Petr Lechner (Cze) ARBÖ-Gebrüder Weiss-Oberndorfer0:07:19 
48David Clarke (GBr) Synergy Baku Cycling Project Team0:07:48 
49Jakub Kratochvila (Cze) ARBÖ-Gebrüder Weiss-Oberndorfer0:08:08 
50Hui Zhang (Chn) Max Success Sports Cycling Team0:08:35 
51Bradley White (USA) UnitedHealthCare Pro Cycling0:08:42 
52Takeaki Ayabe (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team0:08:53 
53Halvor Tandrevold (Nor) Team Frøy-Bianchi0:08:58 
54Kohei Uchima (Jpn) Japan National Team0:08:59 
55Kun Hung Hung (Tpe) Team Senter - Merida0:09:43 
56Max Walsleben (Ger) NUTRIXXION ABUS0:09:56 
57En Huang (Chn) Max Success Sports Cycling Team0:10:09 
58Yat Wai Chan (HKg) Team Hong Kong China0:10:29 
59Mohd Saiful Anwar Azis (Mas) Terengganu Cycling Team0:10:37 
60Benjamin Sydlik (Ger) NUTRIXXION ABUS0:11:00 
61Mohd Nor Umardi Rosdi (Mas) Terengganu Cycling Team0:11:19 
62Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) MTN Qhubeka0:12:13 
63Patrick Shaw (Aus) Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Adviser0:13:21 
64Takero Terasaki (Jpn) Japan National Team0:13:24 
65Hiroki Nishimura (Jpn) Japan National Team0:14:19 
66Andreas Müller (Aut) ARBÖ-Gebrüder Weiss-Oberndorfer0:14:59 
67Zachary Bell (Can) Champion System Pro Cycling Team0:15:00 
68Christoph Scweizer (Ger) Synergy Baku Cycling Project Team0:15:35 
69Luke Keough (USA) UnitedHealthCare Pro Cycling0:15:46 
70Hsin Hua Huang (Tpe) Team Senter - Merida0:16:41 
71Mohd Nur Rizuan Zainal (Mas) Malaysia National Team0:17:30 
72Che Wei Hu (Tpe) Team Senter - Merida0:18:38 
73Jonathan Clarke (Aus) UnitedHealthCare Pro Cycling0:19:29 
74Rick Ampler (Ger) NUTRIXXION ABUS0:20:30 
75Yi Hao Tseng (Tpe) Team Senter - Merida0:20:54 
76Liphongyu Navuti (Tha) Thailand National Team0:21:33 
77Dominic Jelfs (Irl) Madison Genesis Team0:21:59 
78Ahmad Fahmi Farhan Ahmad Fuat (Mas) Malaysia National Team0:23:04 
79Joseph Cooper (NZl) Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Adviser0:23:23 
80Brennan Townshend (GBr) Madison Genesis Team0:23:32 
81Burr Ho (HKg) Team Hong Kong China0:23:51 
82Mart Ojavee (Est) Champion System Pro Cycling Team0:24:00 
83Masahiko Yasui (Jpn) Shimano Racing Team0:24:04 
84Thomas Palmer (Aus) DRAPAC Cycling0:24:32 
85Daniel Summerhill (USA) UnitedHealthCare Pro Cycling0:24:57 
86Anuar Manan (Mas) Synergy Baku Cycling Project Team0:25:56 
87Chun Wing Leung (HKg) Team Hong Kong China0:27:33 
88Nur Arif Prayoga (Ina) Polygon Sweet Nice Team0:28:22 
89Fabian Schnaidt (Ger) Champion System Pro Cycling Team0:28:48 
90Yasuharo Nakajima (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team0:29:29 
91Andrew Tennant (GBr) Madison Genesis Team0:30:16 
92Gordon Mccauley (NZl) DRAPAC Cycling0:31:27 
93Shimpei Fukuda (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team0:37:05 
94Shotaro Iribe (Jpn) Shimano Racing Team0:39:42 
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