The 2015 Ukrainian national champion Mykhaylo Kononenko of the Beijing XDS-Innova team won stage 4 of the Tour of Fuzhou after he rode away solo four kilometres before the finish in Da Yang.
Kononenko escaped from a group of thirteen riders that formed after diverse attacks on the 10km long false flat uphill leading towards the finish. His teammate Ilya Davidenok retained the overall lead with the help of the Mongolian national team.
“I’m very happy with this victory”, Kononenko said. “Our priority was to protect the yellow jersey of my companion but once that was done, I saw a gap and I went for the stage win. This attack also helped me move from tenth to eighth on GC, so it’s a perfect day.”
Samuel Volkers (Memil-CCN), stage 3 winner Ivar Slik (Monkey Town), Stanislau Bazhkou (Minsk), Jan Stohr (Sparta Praha) and Hayato Okamoto (Aisan) formed the breakaway of the day.
The Mongolian national team, who had been quiet during the first three days, seized the reins of the peloton to maintain the deficit under three minutes. Occasionally, the Chinese riders from Beijing XDS-Innova swapped some turns, leaving Kononenko fresh for the finale. Bolor-erdene Enkhtaivan was the best Mongolian at the finish, 44th at 3:09’, so he remained the highest ranked of his team on GC, 65th at 16:19.
St George upped the tempo with 25km to go as the climb was looming. Hengxiang launched a strong action 18km before the end with Liu Jianpeng, and Chen Mingrun opening a gap for Lyu Xianjing.
“We tried in the steepest part but the hill wasn’t hard enough to make a difference,” Hengxiang’s sport director Li Fuyu explained.
The Eritrean national team took over the chase behind the breakaway riders. Okamoto and Slik were the last to surrender with 15km to go.
Dyball of St George accelerated on several occasions but Davidenok was always on his wheel. The surges sparked a select group of six riders at the front with 12km to go, including yellow jersey protagonists Davidenok, Dyball and Lyu but also Hong Kong’s Fung Ka Hoo and the Eritrean duo formed of Yakob Debesay and Hanibal Tesfay.
Due to a lack of cooperation seven riders bridged the gap, including Kononenko who then rode away to victory 4km before the finish.
Dutchman Maarten De Jonge put Monkey Town on the podium once again and Vasili Strokau of Minsk who took third place. The top 3 overall remained unchanged on the eve of the conclusive in Yongtai that doesn’t feature any difficulty.