Tour of Fuzhou: Rohde takes the fast track

Lyu keeps overall race lead

The 23-year-old Leon Rohde, who is part of the German national team mostly for track meets, imposed himself for the first time in an international road race as he outsprinted stage 2 favourite Kaden Groves (Mitchelton-BikeExchange) in Qinjiang Manchu Village.

Stage 1 winner Lyu Xianjing retained the overall lead after Hengxiang Cycling Team controlled the race all the way on the shores of the South China Sea.

“It’s perfect for me,” Rohde said. “I had a hard season. I changed team and now I prepare mostly for track cycling. I’m at the peak of my shape now in the middle of the track season. I’m super fit and my teammates are too. I got a very strong lead out.

“Because the roads were wide and the wind not too strong, we decided to wait as long as we could. A train of five guys was set in front of me with 2.5km to go. It worked well. We were so explosive that nobody could hold our wheels. At 200m to go, it was my time to open my sprint. I saw somebody coming on my right side but I got it just.”

Joey Van Rhee (Monkey Town) and Vasili Strokau (Minsk) rode away from the bunch in the first part of the race and passed the first intermediate sprint in that order, but the main breakaway of the day was by the lone Matic Groselj of Ljubljana-Gusto-Xaurum. The Slovenian built a gap of 2:35 but was kept under control by the Hengxiang team of race leader Lyu. The Chinese outfit remained at the helm of the peloton until eight kilometres to go. Only after that did the sprinters’ teams take over and reeled the escapee in.

It was all in place for a fast sprint in the historical and cultural village of Qinjiang Manchu. The German team pursuit squad showed their speed and depth.

“Hengxiang did a very good job in controlling the race early,” Groves said. “It came down to a pretty technical finish, I guess. The Germans took control very far from the finish. They were too quick for me today. I can’t thank my team enough. They gave me a good lead out in the final kilometres. I had the good legs but I didn’t have the room to come through and contend for the win but I’m happy with the second place.”

The other Australian young gun, Toby Orchard (Australian Cycling Academy), went down. Lyu discovered the life in yellow, sitting behind his team-mates at the head of the peloton for the whole stage. “It was a nice team effort,” he said. “We did our best to keep the jersey. I’m happy with that.”

Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Leon Rohde (Ger) Germany2:37:27 
2Kaden Groves (Aus) Mitchelton - Bikeexchange  
3Joey Van Rhee (Ned) Monkey Town Continental Team  
4Dylan Kennett (NZl) St George Continental Cycling Team  
5Irwandie Lakasek (Mas) Terengganu Cycling Team  
6Natnael Ocbit (Eri) Eritrea  
7Andrii Kulyk (Ukr) Beijing XDS - Innova Cycing Team  
8Jayson Valade (Fra) H&R Block Pro Cycling Team  
9Jan Stöhr (Cze) Ac Sparta Praha  
10Hayato Okamoto (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team  
General Classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Xianjing Lyu (Chn) Hengxiang Cycling Team5:08:48 
2Ilya Davidenok (Kaz) Beijing XDS - Innova Cycing Team0:00:04 
3Hanibal Gebresilasie (Eri) Eritrea0:00:06 
4Benjamin Dyball (Aus) St George Continental Cycling Team0:00:13 
5Yakob Abreham (Eri) Eritrea0:00:37 
6Marko Pavlič (Slo) H&R Block Pro Cycling Team0:00:42 
7Natnael Mebrahtom (Eri) Eritrea0:00:43 
8Vasili Strokau (Blr) Minsk Cycling Club0:01:17 
9Maarten De Jonge (Ned) Monkey Town Continental Team0:01:19 
10Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier Werkilul (Eri) Eritrea  

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