Australia’s Kaden Groves of the Mitchelton-BikeExchange development team won the fifth and final stage of the Tour of Fuzhou in China as Ilya Davidenok of Beijing XDS-Innova secured overall success, 12 seconds ahead of Ben Dyball of St George, with Lyu Xianjing from the Hengxiang Cycling Team, who win stage 1, taking third overall at 21 seconds.
Groves beat China’s Zhang Zheng and Jasper Frahm of the German national team in the expected sprint finish.
“I am very, very happy”, Davidenok said. “This is my second win of my career. My team gave their maximum today to save my jersey. For my team, winning the Tour of Fuzhou is the maximum.”
Davidenok and the Beijing XDS-Innova team had to fight for victory on the final stage. Nine men broke clear in the second of the six laps of 21.6km: Henning Bommel (German national team), Vasili Byaliauski (Minsk), Tilen Finkst and Tim Guy (Ljublana-Gusto), Petr Fiala (Sparta Praha), Debesay (Eritrea), Kim Okcheol (Seoul), Shi Hang (Giant) and Jiang Zhi Hui (Mitchelton-BikeExchange).
Debesay, who was fourth on GC, with a deficit of 52 seconds hadn’t given up on his ambitions to dethrone Davidenok but for the second day in a row, the Mongolian national team combined with Beijing XDS-Innova at the head of the peloton and the peloton came back together with 10km to go.
Touted for the win on the slightly downhill finish, Groves used his power to strike again, one year after his first win on stage 3 of the Tour of Fuzhou with St George.
“I was quite disappointed with second on stage 2”, said the 19 year old from Queensland.
“I knew I was coming here with good legs. This Tour of Fuzhou being my last race of the year, I couldn’t asked for any more than winning the last stage. I got hung-up on the bridge in a crash. Once I clipped in, my teammate Sam Jenner did most of the pace making to move me back up to the front. I had good legs so I overtook the Germans. I had a big chain ring on today for the downhill finish. I’m delighted to have made it.”
This is Groves’ third victory with Mitchelton-BikeExchange this year, all in China after wins on stage 13 of the Tour of Qinghai Lake and stage 1 of the Tour of Quanzhou Bay. He will move to the SEG Racing development team to have his first full season in Europe next year.
Third overall, Lyu, 20, remains the big sensation the 2018 edition of the Tour of Fuzhou.