Iran’s Rahim Emami (Pishgaman Giant Team) secured his probable third overall victory in the Tour of Fuzhou after 2013 and 2015 as he crossed the finishing line in Yun Ding with his arms in the air, wearing the yellow jersey since stage 1. Last year’s winner of the same stage, Ahad Kazemi, his compatriot from Tabriz Shahrdari, had to be content with the second place this time around as Emami was literally flying.
“It’s a good result for me [even if] I didn’t win this time,” Kazemi said. “I just followed him [in the uphill finishing climb]. His team is very strong. They work five or six guys together in mountain. Very strong. Fantastic. The yellow jersey attacked in the last two kilometers and I followed him there also. He’s in the best form of his career. Very strong.”
Ahead of the traditional mountain-top finish after 25km of climbing, Tabriz Shahrdari put pressure on their Iranian rivals as they sent Mirsamad Pourseyedigolakhour, the 2014 winner of the Tour of Fuzhou, in a seven-man break along with Chiu Ho San (Hong Kong), Xue Fu Wen (Giant-Champion System), Eamon Franck (Astellas), Evan Burtnik (Canada national team), Ronald Yeung and stage 3 winner Zhao Jingbiao (Wisdom-Hengxiang).
Pourseyedigolakhour, who has won most of Asia’s big stage races - Tour of Qinghai Lake, Le Tour de Langkawi, Tour of Japan, Tour of Iran - was eleven minutes down on GC, so he wasn’t such a serious threat for Emami who amazed people in the convoy by carrying bottles for his teammates and stopping twice to answer the call of the nature without any domestiques waiting for him.
Three riders from the Malaysia national team set the pace of the peloton until they hit the final climb. Pourseyedigolakhour and Yeung were the last two escapees to be caught by the six Pishgaman riders leading the pack with 12km to go. Emami accelerated on a steep section 2km before the top.
This year’s Tour of Colombia overall winner, Mauricio Ortega (RTS-Monton), and Dutchman Peter Schulting (Parkhotel Valkenburg) tried to hold his pace but surrendered. Kazemi was the only one to come across to the 34-year-old. It looked like an easy ride for the yellow jersey. His teammates weren’t very affected by their work as they still had the energy to come third, fourth and sixth.
Ahead of the conclusive stage for to sprinters in Yongtai, the Pishgaman Giant Team occupies the top three places overall with Emami, Arvin Moazami and Hamid Pourhashemi but the latter is only one second ahead of Schulting who is a good sprinter. The Dutchman is likely to disturb the Iranian party a little bit. But out of twelve starters from Pishgaman and Tabriz Shahrdari in a 127-man strong field, eight of them are in the top 10 overall, which is one more than the number of Iranians in the final ranking of the Tour of Fuzhou one year ago.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Rahim Emami (IRI) Pishgaman Giant Team||3:25:46|
|2||Ahad Kazemi (IRI) Tabriz Shahrdari Team||0:00:02|
|3||Hamid Pourhashemi (IRI) Pishgaman Giant Team||0:00:07|
|4||Arvin Moazami Godarzi (IRI) Pishgaman Giant Team|
|5||Stanislau Bazhkou (Blr) Minsk Cycling Club||0:00:35|
|6||Amir Kolahdouz Hagh (IRI) Pishgaman Giant Team|
|7||Peter Schulting (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg Continental Team|
|8||Mauricio Ortega Ramirez (Col) RTS - Santic Racing Team||0:00:40|
|9||Saeid Safarzadeh (IRI) Tabriz Shahrdari Team||0:00:41|
|10||Ghader Mizbani Iranagh (IRI) Tabriz Shahrdari Team||0:00:42|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Rahim Emami (IRI) Pishgaman Giant Team||12:07:34|
|2||Arvin Moazami Godarzi (IRI) Pishgaman Giant Team||0:00:30|
|3||Hamid Pourhashemi (IRI) Pishgaman Giant Team||0:01:00|
|4||Peter Schulting (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg Continental Team||0:01:01|
|5||Ahad Kazemi (IRI) Tabriz Shahrdari Team||0:01:19|
|6||Amir Kolahdouz Hagh (IRI) Pishgaman Giant Team||0:01:26|
|7||Hossaini Reza (IRI) Pishgaman Giant Team||0:02:12|
|8||Saeid Safarzadeh (IRI) Tabriz Shahrdari Team||0:02:23|
|9||Mauricio Ortega Ramirez (Col) RTS - Santic Racing Team||0:02:29|
|10||Ghader Mizbani Iranagh (IRI) Tabriz Shahrdari Team||0:02:33|