Iranians power to stage win and tour lead in Xihaizhen

Askari in command overall as Sohrabi takes stage

Iranian Hossein Askari (Tabriz Petrochemical) has sensationally ridden into the overall lead at the Tour of Qinghai Lake after stage six in Xihaizhen. Teammate Mehdi Sohrabi took out the stage ahead of Nikola Kozomara (Partizan SRBIJA) with Askari back in third place. Askari now leads the tour by 44 seconds over previous leader Radoslav Rogina (Loborika) and Kiel Reijnen (Jelly Belly) who is a further 41 seconds behind.

Rogina was in disbelief after the stage. He sat alone in the team van pondering how the trio could stay away from a rampaging peloton. “I cannot believe what’s happened,” he said. “It's unbelievable how they rode in front.”

“We worked very hard, not just my team but all the teams,” Rogina added. It will take a massive effort for the Loboriak team to reclaim the yellow jersey now. ”We are very tired, we worked hard every day,” the Croatian explained. ”We will not surrender, for sure.”

Meanwhile new leader Askari was delighted with his team’s efforts on the day. ”We rode very hard to the finish and I am very happy for my team,” he said. After finishing 49 seconds down the day before in terrible conditions he was glad of the warmer weather. “Yesterday was very bad day for me because I don’t like cold weather,” he said. “Every time there's cold weather I have problems, today I hoped for good weather.”

The trio broke free from the peloton just before the first intermediate sprint in Quanji at 37.9kms. From there they powered towards the finish, taking all the other sprint and king of the mountain competition points on offer en route. At one stage they stretched their margin out to a little over six minutes over the peloton which contained tour leader Rogina.

In between them were two riders caught in no-man’s land, Kun Jiang (China National Team), and Shengjun Wu (Qinghai Tianyoude Cycling Team). The pair were eventually reeled in by an elite group of around 25 riders which included all of the jersey competition leaders. That bunch had formed after the main peloton splintered near the second intermediate sprint at 65kms. The margin between the chasing peloton and the three leaders began to drop nearing the King of the Mountain climb at 115kms. With various teams in the peloton working to bring the trio back it was expected that the timing of domestiques would be impeccable once more.

The margin was reduced to 3:42 near the top of the climb with 37kms to the finish. The peloton may have underestimated the willingness and strength of the trio however, and in particular Askari (35) and Sohrabi (28). The pair virtually dragged the Serbian teenager Nikola Kozomara (Partizan Srbija) all the way and he had to work hard just to hold the wheel of the pair. In the end he simply glad to make the podium, especially given the hardship that his team has endured in this race. The Serbian outfit are down to three riders due to illness and their sprinter Stevic being disqualified.

Team manager Dusan Banovic explained that his 18-year-old charge ”is very happy because he is the youngest rider in this race."

"This is the biggest stage race for him because he is a first year under 23. It is his best result,” Banovic said.

With twenty kilometres remaining the deficit was down to 3:30 but with the fast roads winding down into Xihazhen the chances of a bunch finish were rapidly dwindling.

The peloton crossed the line 2:20 behind Sohrabi and the Iranian was ecstatic at his win. “I'm on cloud nine,” he explained. “The most important thing for us is teamwork. We obtained everything we wanted from this stage.”

It was expected that no major shake up of the general classification would occur until the race reached the serious slopes of stages seven and eight but Tabriz Petrochemical decided otherwise. “We showed our abilities today, they (other teams) did not consider our abilities, because of that we broke away," said Sohrabi.

There was a confrontation between riders from the chasing peloton and tour officials after the stage. The big sprinters may well have been frustrated by the way in which the Iranians held their time gap during the stage. Many of the riders from other teams argued that the leading break had been drafted and sheltered at certain sections of the stage.

Tabriz Petrochemical team manager, Khatoun Abadi Azar Kazem begged to differ. “Every day we push,” he said. “The peloton does not think we have the ability to go forward, but we proved this with our ability on this stage."

The team is now leading in all jersey competition categories. Along with the yellow jersey, Askari also leads the sprint points and best placed Asian rider categories. Ghader Mizbani leads the King of the Mountains competition by one point from Russian National Team rider Alexander Filippov, and the team itself head both the overall team classification and classification for the highest-placed Asian team.

The tour continues tomorrow when stage seven takes the peloton from Xihaizhen to Qilian. It's a 123km trek featuring two KOM climbs including an hors categorie climb to 3,869 metres just fifteen kilometres from the finish.

Full Results
1Mehdi Sohrabi (IRI) Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team3:07:01 
2Nikola Kozomara (Srb) Partizan Srbija  
3Hossein Askari (IRI) Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team0:00:03 
4Thomas Rabou (Ned) Team Type 10:02:20 
5Boris Shpilevsky (Rus) Russia  
6Hossein Alizadeh (IRI) Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team  
7Vitaliy Buts (Ukr) Ukraine  
8Denys Kostyuk (Ukr) ISD - Neri  
9Davide Frattini (Ita) Team Type 1  
10Volodymyr Starchyk (Ukr) Amore & Vita - Conad  
11Volodymyr Bileka (Ukr) Amore & Vita - Conad  
12Ruslan Tleubayev (Kaz) Kazakhstan  
13Matej Stare (Slo) Slovenia  
14Vladimir Kerkez (Slo) Slovenia  
15Kiel Reijnen (USA) Jelly Belly Presented By Kenda  
16Dmitri Puzanov (Rus) Russia  
17Maarten De Jonge (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels  
18David McCann (Irl) Giant Asia Racing Team  
19Pengda Jiao (Chn) China  
20Pim De Beer (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels  
21Scott Stewart (USA) Team Type 1  
22Andrey Mizurov (Kaz) Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team  
23Mitja Mahoric (Slo) Slovenia  
24Rahim Ememi (IRI) Giant Asia Racing Team  
25Gregor Gazvoda (Slo) Arbö Ktm - Gebrüder Weiss  
26Daniil Komkov (Rus) Russia  
27Thierry Hupond (Fra) Skil - Shimano  
28Zolt Der (Srb) Partizan Srbija  
29Radoslav Rogina (Cro) Loborika  
30Valeriy Kobzarenko (Ukr) Team Type 1  
31Hossein Jahanbanian (IRI) Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team  
32Alexandre Shushemoin (Kaz) Kazakhstan  
33Ghader Mizbani Iranagh (IRI) Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team  
34Eugen Wacker (Kgz) Giant Asia Racing Team  
35Frederik Wilmann (Nor) Skil - Shimano  
36Simon Clarke (Aus) ISD - Neri  
37Oleksandr Kvachuk (Ukr) ISD - Neri  
38Jure Golcer (Slo) Slovenia  
39Emanuel Kiserlovski (Cro) Loborika0:02:38 
40Tomislav Danculovic (Cro) Loborika  
41Vladimir Likhachev (Rus) Russia0:05:39 
42Volodymyr Gomenyuk (Ukr) Ukraine  
43Andriy Vasylyuk (Ukr) Ukraine0:05:41 
44Jakub Kratochvila (Cze) Arbö Ktm - Gebrüder Weiss  
45Mykhaylo Kononenko (Ukr) Ukraine  
46Jaroslaw Dabrowski (Pol) Amore & Vita - Conad  
47Barati Rasoul (IRI) Giant Asia Racing Team  
48Kristjan Fajt (Slo) Slovenia0:05:54 
49Jure Zrimsek (Slo) Slovenia0:05:55 
50Yue Tu (Chn) China0:07:04 
51Kun Jiang (Chn) China  
52Bernardo Colex Tepoz (Mex) Amore & Vita - Conad  
53Tobias Erler (Ger) Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team  
54Shengjun Wu (Chn) Qinghai Tianyoude Cycling Team  
55Serhy Hrechyn (Ukr) Amore & Vita - Conad0:07:25 
56Sergey Kuzmin (Kaz) Kazakhstan0:09:31 
57Jin Long (Chn) Skil - Shimano0:13:58 
58Kasper Linde Jorgensen (Den) Glud & Marstrand - LRO Radgivning  
59Haijun Ma (Chn) Qinghai Tianyoude Cycling Team  
60Peilun Wu (Chn) Qinghai Tianyoude Cycling Team  
61Ian Smallman (NZl) Subway - Avanti  
62Dmytro Krivtsov (Ukr) ISD - Neri  
63Han Feng (Chn) Skil - Shimano  
64Bertjan Lindeman (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels  
65Bo Liu (Chn) China  
66Xiaoyong Dong (Chn) Qinghai Tianyoude Cycling Team  
67Jelle Posthuma (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels  
68Esad Hasanovic (Srb) Partizan Srbija  
69Martijn Verschoor (Ned) Team Type 1  
70William Dugan (USA) Team Type 1  
71Vitaliy Kondrut (Ukr) ISD - Neri  
72Shijie Yu (Chn) China  
73Alexandre Geniez (Fra) Skil - Shimano  
74King Wai Cheung (HKg) Hong Kong  
75Cheng Ji (Chn) Skil - Shimano  
76Eric Drower (NZl) Subway - Avanti  
77Anthony Colby (USA) Jelly Belly Presented By Kenda  
78Sierk De Haan (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels  
79Prajak Mahawong (Tha) Giant Asia Racing Team  
80Ting Deng (Chn) Qinghai Tianyoude Cycling Team  
81Stefan Van Winden (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels  
82Samuel Horgan (NZl) Subway - Avanti  
83Salvatore Mancuso (Ita) ISD - Neri  
84Pier Paolo De Negri (Ita) ISD - Neri  
85Alexander Arekeev (Rus) Russia  
86Bernard Van Ulden (USA) Jelly Belly Presented By Kenda  
87Khalid Boulida (Ned) Marco Polo Cycling Team  
88Valentin Iglinskiy (Kaz) Kazakhstan  
89Evgeny Reshetko (Rus) Russia  
90Alexander Filippov (Rus) Russia  
91Niki Ostergaard (Den) Glud & Marstrand - LRO Radgivning  
92Jacob Nielsen (Den) Glud & Marstrand - LRO Radgivning  
93Yuri Metlushenko (Ukr) Amore & Vita - Conad  
94Hrvoje Miholjevic (Cro) Loborika  
95Kam-Po Wong (HKg) Hong Kong  
96Massimo Demarin (Cro) Loborika  
97Roman Zhiyentayev (Kaz) Kazakhstan  
98Darko Blazevic (Cro) Loborika  
99Vladislav Borisov (Rus) Amore & Vita - Conad  
99Peng Liu (Chn) China  
101Chun Hing Chan (HKg) Hong Kong  
102Kristijan Durasek (Cro) Loborika  
103Gang Xu (Chn) China  
104Andrej Omulec (Slo) Slovenia  
105Bradley Hall (Aus) Marco Polo Cycling Team  
106Alex Coutts (GBr) Giant Asia Racing Team  
107Anatoliy Sosnitskiy (Ukr) Ukraine  
108Oleksandr Prevar (Ukr) Ukraine  
109James Williamson (NZl) Subway - Avanti  
110Nazar Jumabekov (Kaz) Kazakhstan  
111Evgeniy Sladkov (Kaz) Kazakhstan  
112Joseph Cooper (NZl) Subway - Avanti  
113Jonathan Lovelock (Aus) Marco Polo Cycling Team  
114Ki Ho Choi (HKg) Hong Kong  
115Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Glud & Marstrand - LRO Radgivning  
116Ho Ting Kwok (HKg) Hong Kong  
117Ying Hon Yeung (HKg) Hong Kong  
118Sean Mazich (USA) Jelly Belly Presented By Kenda  
119Wu Chen (Chn) Qinghai Tianyoude Cycling Team0:19:27 
DNFKing Lok Cheung (HKg) Hong Kong  
General classification after stage 6
1Hossein Askari (IRI) Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team19:13:16 
2Radoslav Rogina (Cro) Loborika0:00:44 
3Kiel Reijnen (USA) Jelly Belly Presented By Kenda0:01:25 
4David McCann (Irl) Giant Asia Racing Team0:01:28 
5Mitja Mahoric (Slo) Slovenia0:01:29 
6Ghader Mizbani Iranagh (IRI) Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team0:01:32 
7Andrey Mizurov (Kaz) Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team0:01:34 
8Vladimir Kerkez (Slo) Slovenia0:01:52 
9Hossein Alizadeh (IRI) Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team0:01:53 
10Tomislav Danculovic (Cro) Loborika0:02:12 
11Gregor Gazvoda (Slo) Arbö Ktm - Gebrüder Weiss0:02:22 
12Rahim Ememi (IRI) Giant Asia Racing Team0:02:57 
13Volodymyr Starchyk (Ukr) Amore & Vita - Conad0:03:20 
14Oleksandr Kvachuk (Ukr) ISD - Neri0:05:30 
15Alexandre Shushemoin (Kaz) Kazakhstan0:05:34 
16Jure Golcer (Slo) Slovenia0:06:48 
17Vitaliy Buts (Ukr) Ukraine0:08:15 
18Vladimir Likhachev (Rus) Russia0:08:45 
19Frederik Wilmann (Nor) Skil - Shimano0:08:46 
20Thierry Hupond (Fra) Skil - Shimano0:09:37 
21Pengda Jiao (Chn) China0:10:09 
22Volodymyr Bileka (Ukr) Amore & Vita - Conad0:10:23 
23Shengjun Wu (Chn) Qinghai Tianyoude Cycling Team0:12:50 
24Dmitri Puzanov (Rus) Russia0:13:10 
25Barati Rasoul (IRI) Giant Asia Racing Team0:13:20 
26Ruslan Tleubayev (Kaz) Kazakhstan0:13:48 
27Jaroslaw Dabrowski (Pol) Amore & Vita - Conad0:14:43 
28Alexander Filippov (Rus) Russia0:18:37 
29Vladislav Borisov (Rus) Amore & Vita - Conad0:20:07 
30Daniil Komkov (Rus) Russia0:20:48 
31Hossein Jahanbanian (IRI) Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team0:21:07 
32Ying Hon Yeung (HKg) Hong Kong0:21:43 
33Hrvoje Miholjevic (Cro) Loborika0:23:47 
34Han Feng (Chn) Skil - Shimano0:23:49 
35Simon Clarke (Aus) ISD - Neri0:27:22 
36Matej Stare (Slo) Slovenia0:27:39 
37Eugen Wacker (Kgz) Giant Asia Racing Team0:27:48 
38Denys Kostyuk (Ukr) ISD - Neri0:28:10 
39Zolt Der (Srb) Partizan Srbija0:29:16 
40Alexandre Geniez (Fra) Skil - Shimano0:30:08 
41Emanuel Kiserlovski (Cro) Loborika0:30:22 
42Maarten De Jonge (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels0:30:40 
43Pim De Beer (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels0:31:02 
44Evgeny Reshetko (Rus) Russia0:31:47 
45Kun Jiang (Chn) China0:31:56 
46Kristijan Durasek (Cro) Loborika0:33:11 
47Evgeniy Sladkov (Kaz) Kazakhstan0:33:48 
48Bernardo Colex Tepoz (Mex) Amore & Vita - Conad0:35:52 
49Scott Stewart (USA) Team Type 10:37:08 
50Kristjan Fajt (Slo) Slovenia0:38:47 
51Davide Frattini (Ita) Team Type 10:38:49 
52William Dugan (USA) Team Type 10:39:26 
53Haijun Ma (Chn) Qinghai Tianyoude Cycling Team  
54Thomas Rabou (Ned) Team Type 10:40:46 
55Chun Hing Chan (HKg) Hong Kong0:40:47 
56Anthony Colby (USA) Jelly Belly Presented By Kenda0:40:56 
57Roman Zhiyentayev (Kaz) Kazakhstan0:41:12 
58Mehdi Sohrabi (IRI) Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team0:41:46 
59Jakub Kratochvila (Cze) Arbö Ktm - Gebrüder Weiss0:42:26 
60Mykhaylo Kononenko (Ukr) Ukraine0:43:19 
61Sergey Kuzmin (Kaz) Kazakhstan0:43:26 
62Jure Zrimsek (Slo) Slovenia0:43:27 
63Tobias Erler (Ger) Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team0:44:07 
64Peilun Wu (Chn) Qinghai Tianyoude Cycling Team0:44:49 
65Valeriy Kobzarenko (Ukr) Team Type 10:45:27 
66Salvatore Mancuso (Ita) ISD - Neri0:46:10 
67Boris Shpilevsky (Rus) Russia0:46:31 
68Ki Ho Choi (HKg) Hong Kong0:46:51 
69Alex Coutts (GBr) Giant Asia Racing Team0:49:50 
70Nikola Kozomara (Srb) Partizan Srbija0:50:16 
71Esad Hasanovic (Srb) Partizan Srbija0:50:39 
72Eric Drower (NZl) Subway - Avanti0:50:42 
73Darko Blazevic (Cro) Loborika0:50:52 
74Cheng Ji (Chn) Skil - Shimano0:51:40 
75Serhy Hrechyn (Ukr) Amore & Vita - Conad0:52:11 
76Andriy Vasylyuk (Ukr) Ukraine0:52:30 
77Kam-Po Wong (HKg) Hong Kong0:52:40 
78Nazar Jumabekov (Kaz) Kazakhstan0:53:34 
79Alexander Arekeev (Rus) Russia0:54:21 
80Peng Liu (Chn) China0:55:19 
81Jelle Posthuma (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels0:55:28 
82Andrej Omulec (Slo) Slovenia0:56:45 
83Sean Mazich (USA) Jelly Belly Presented By Kenda0:57:03 
84Joseph Cooper (NZl) Subway - Avanti0:57:08 
85Massimo Demarin (Cro) Loborika0:57:23 
86Dmytro Krivtsov (Ukr) ISD - Neri0:57:42 
87Prajak Mahawong (Tha) Giant Asia Racing Team0:59:42 
88Volodymyr Gomenyuk (Ukr) Ukraine1:01:52 
89Valentin Iglinskiy (Kaz) Kazakhstan1:02:04 
90Niki Ostergaard (Den) Glud & Marstrand - LRO Radgivning1:02:16 
91Bernard Van Ulden (USA) Jelly Belly Presented By Kenda1:02:58 
92Yue Tu (Chn) China1:03:01 
93Ho Ting Kwok (HKg) Hong Kong1:03:33 
94Pier Paolo De Negri (Ita) ISD - Neri1:03:54 
95Wu Chen (Chn) Qinghai Tianyoude Cycling Team1:03:58 
96Yuri Metlushenko (Ukr) Amore & Vita - Conad1:04:00 
97Shijie Yu (Chn) China1:04:15 
98Stefan Van Winden (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels1:05:30 
99Gang Xu (Chn) China1:06:56 
100Xiaoyong Dong (Chn) Qinghai Tianyoude Cycling Team1:07:43 
101Bertjan Lindeman (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels1:08:15 
102Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Glud & Marstrand - LRO Radgivning1:08:28 
103Ting Deng (Chn) Qinghai Tianyoude Cycling Team1:09:57 
104Ian Smallman (NZl) Subway - Avanti1:11:11 
105Sierk De Haan (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels  
106Jin Long (Chn) Skil - Shimano1:16:05 
107Jonathan Lovelock (Aus) Marco Polo Cycling Team1:17:29 
108Bradley Hall (Aus) Marco Polo Cycling Team1:17:55 
109Vitaliy Kondrut (Ukr) ISD - Neri1:19:03 
110Kasper Linde Jorgensen (Den) Glud & Marstrand - LRO Radgivning1:19:05 
111Khalid Boulida (Ned) Marco Polo Cycling Team1:20:38 
112Jacob Nielsen (Den) Glud & Marstrand - LRO Radgivning1:21:08 
113Oleksandr Prevar (Ukr) Ukraine1:21:09 
114Anatoliy Sosnitskiy (Ukr) Ukraine1:21:50 
115Samuel Horgan (NZl) Subway - Avanti1:22:03 
116King Wai Cheung (HKg) Hong Kong1:26:00 
117Bo Liu (Chn) China1:29:12 
118Martijn Verschoor (Ned) Team Type 11:31:14 
119James Williamson (NZl) Subway - Avanti1:46:34 

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