Shpilevskiy in a hurry for stage win

Askari remains in yellow

Russian National Team rider Boris Shpilevskiy has put the sprinters back in the spotlight winning stage six of the tour into Mole in the Qilian County. Shpilevskiy outlasted Matej Stare (Slovenian National Team) and Simon Clarke (ISD-Neri) from Australia; the win puts Shpilevskiy into the green jersey leader of the point's competition with two stages remaining.

Iranian Hossein Askari (Tabriz Petrochemical) remains in the tour lead holding a 44 second advantage over Croatian Radoslav Rogina (Loborika) with American Kiel Reijnen (Jelly Belly) a further 41.seconds back in third place.

Shpilevskiy has already appeared on the podium four times including the tour preface, but never as the winner. With the race heading over the summit of the hors categorie climb fifteen kilometres from the finish, it looked like his chances may have passed him by again.

He was at the back of a lead group that had assembled high on the climb and was struggling to stay in touch. "I was last position on the climb" he said gasping for air in Mole. "It was very difficult, i was very fatigued". "My team work very well on the last fifteen kilometres on the downhill and i am very happy to win at last", he added.

Earlier in the day the field, now reduced to 119 riders, left Xihaizhen beneath clear blue skies with the temperature in the low twenties. The pace was on early with several breakaway attempts that failed. Ukrainian rider Oleksandr Kvachuk (ISD-Neri) took the points at the first King of the Mountain mark at twenty-four kilometres. Shpilevskiy showed a sign of things to come when he won the first intermediate sprint of the day at forty-six kilometres.

It was after this point that two riders broke free. Ying Hon Yeung (Hong Kong) and Shengjun Wu (Qinghai Tianyoude Cycling Team) snuck out to a lead of over two minutes by the time they sped through the coal mining township of Reshui (Chinese for Hot Water Town).

They were eventually joined by a chasing pair nearing thirty-five kilometres from the finish. Jakub Kratochvila (Arbo-KTM-Gebruder Weiss) and Peng Liu (China National Team) had been chasing the leading pair across the plateau, watched by road workers who had put their tools down to cheer on the tour.

Kratochvila is one of only two riders left on his Austrian registered team and could have been excused for just sitting back in the peloton. His teammate and already a stage winner here, Gregor Gazvoda, was sitting eleventh overall 2:22 behind Askari. "I just wanted to make up some time on the GC and do everything for my leader", he said afterwards.

The quartet's lead of fifty seconds nearing the 25 kilometres mark quickly evaporated and the big guns of the race took over on the climb. A group of nine riders formed on the lower slopes before that was reduced to seven nearing the top. The peloton meanwhile began to disintegrate behind.

The group of seven, including tour leader Hossein Askari, had a break of fifteen seconds approaching the summit. Former tour leader Rogina showed he is not done with yet when he led the race over the top. They were joined by a chasing pack and descended towards the finish, speeding past local Mongolians dressed in their colourful costumes and waving flags.

On the fast and smooth run into Mole, teams began to organise their sprinters. Waiting at the finish was a mixture of Chinese culture with Muslims, Tibetans and Mongolians lining the main street awaiting the tour's arrival.

They watched on as a Russian outlasted a Slovenian and an Australian to win the stage. Clarke was delighted with his place on the podium after being in a hospital earlier on the tour having blood tests. "After the way i have been feeling this week i didn't even think a top ten in a stage would be within my reach" he said. "Today I crashed and changed bikes twice; I just thought this run's not going to end".

"I just tried to hold on in that last climb today and have a crack" he added. "It was a really hard finish with an uphill drag and a headwind, i didn't hit out until 150 to go, i'm stoked to make the podium under the circumstances", Clarke said.

Tour leader Askari is prepared for a hard day in the saddle on the penultimate stage tomorrow which features another hors categorie climb at 3,869 metres above sea level. "I think today is better than tomorrow", he said. "Tomorrow is a hard day". "We know the roads and the hors categorie are not so strong but it is the altitude". "Maybe the gods help my team", he said with a smile.

Tomorrow the eighth stage leaves Mole bound for Qingshizui, a 150 kilometre journey featuring the aforementioned climb. If the gods are smiling on Askari and his team from Tabriz Petrochemical, he will take the yellow jersey to Xining for the final stage criterium on Sunday.

Brief Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Boris Shpilevskiy (Rus) Russian Federation3:02:01 
2Matej Stare (Slo) Slovenia  
3Simon Clarke (Aus) ISD - Neri  
4Ruslan Tleubayev (Kaz) Kazakhstan  
5Thierry Hupond (Fra) Skil - Shimano  
6Volodymyr Bileka (Ukr) Amore & Vita - Conad  
7Maarten De Jonge (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels  
8Volodymyr Starchyk (Ukr) Amore & Vita - Conad  
9Hossein Alieadeh (IRI) Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team  
10Radoslav Rogina (Cro) Loborika  
11Denys Kostyuk (Ukr) ISD - Neri  
12Mykhaylo Kononenko (Ukr) Ukraine  
13Dong Xiaoyong (Chn) Qinghai Tianyoude Cycling Team  
14Kiel Reijnen (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Kenda  
15Thomas Rabou (Ned) Team Type 1  
16Davide Frattini (Ita) Team Type 1  
17Evgeny Reshetko (Rus) Russian Federation  
18Jiao Pengda (Chn) People's Republic of China  
19Pim De Beer (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels  
20Oleksandr Prevar (Ukr) Ukraine  
21Alexandr Shushemoin (Kaz) Kazakhstan  
22David McCann (Irl) Giant Asia Racing Team  
23Mitja Mahoric (Slo) Slovenia  
24Dmytriy Krivtsov (Ukr) ISD - Neri  
25Tomislav Danculovic (Cro) Loborika  
26William Dugan (USA) Team Type 1  
27Frederik Wilmann (Nor) Skil - Shimano  
28Jaroslaw Dabrowski (Pol) Amore & Vita - Conad  
29Oleksandr Kvachuk (Ukr) ISD - Neri  
30Hossein Askari (IRI) Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team  
31Jure Golcer (Slo) Slovenia  
32Vitaliy Buts (Ukr) Ukraine  
33Vladimir Kerkez (Slo) Slovenia  
34Andrey Mizorov (Kaz) Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team  
35Valeriy Kobzarenko (Ukr) Team Type 1  
36Joseph Cooper (NZl) Subway - Avanti  
37Ghader Mizbani Iranagh (IRI) Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team  
38Jiang Kun (Chn) People's Republic of China  
39Rahim Emami (IRI) Giant Asia Racing Team  
40Andriy Vasylyuk (Ukr) Ukraine  
41Rasoul Barati (IRI) Giant Asia Racing Team0:00:10 
42Dmitry Puzanov (Rus) Russian Federation0:00:11 
43Emanuel Kiserlovski (Cro) Loborika0:00:15 
44Nazar Jumabekov (Kaz) Kazakhstan  
45Vitaliy Kondrut (Ukr) ISD - Neri  
46Scott Stewart (USA) Team Type 10:00:20 
47Yevgeniy Sladkov (Kaz) Kazakhstan0:00:28 
48Eugen Wacker (Kgz) Giant Asia Racing Team0:00:55 
49Ma Haijun (Chn) Qinghai Tianyoude Cycling Team  
50Valentin Iglinskiy (Kaz) Kazakhstan  
51Zsolt Der (Srb) Partizan Srbija  
52Chun Hing Chan (HKg) Hong Kong, China  
53Vladislav Borisov (Rus) Amore & Vita - Conad  
54Volodymyr Gomenuk (Ukr) Ukraine  
55Kristjan Fajt (Slo) Slovenia  
56Jelle Posthuma (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels  
57Alexander Filippov (Rus) Russian Federation  
58Gregor Gazvoda (Slo) Arbö Ktm - Gebrüder Weiss  
59Bernardo Colex Tepox (Mex) Amore & Vita - Conad  
60Alexander Arekeev (Rus) Russian Federation0:01:07 
61Jakub Kratochvila (Cze) Arbö Ktm - Gebrüder Weiss0:01:10 
62Pier Paolo De Negri (Ita) ISD - Neri0:01:35 
63Sergey Kuzmin (Kaz) Kazakhstan0:02:31 
64Niki Ostergaard (Den) Glud & Marstrand - LRO Radgivning  
65Dang Ting (Chn) Qinghai Tianyoude Cycling Team0:02:34 
66Chen Wu (Chn) Qinghai Tianyoude Cycling Team  
67Kasper Linde Jorgensen (Den) Glud & Marstrand - LRO Radgivning  
68Sean Mazich (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Kenda  
69Samuel Horgan (NZl) Subway - Avanti  
70Feng Han (Chn) Skil - Shimano  
71Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels  
72Stefan Van Winden (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels  
73Wu Peilun (Chn) Qinghai Tianyoude Cycling Team  
74Hossein Jahanbanian Kamnabi (IRI) Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team  
75Yu Shijie (Chn) People's Republic of China  
76Prajak Mahawong (Tha) Giant Asia Racing Team  
77Cheng Ji (Chn) Skil - Shimano  
78Anthony Colby (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Kenda  
79Mehdi Sohrabi (IRI) Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team  
80Nikola Kozomara (Srb) Partizan Srbija  
81Wu Shengjun (Chn) Qinghai Tianyoude Cycling Team  
82Eric Drower (NZl) Subway - Avanti  
83Hrvoje Miholjevic (Cro) Loborika  
84Khalid Bounida (Ned) Marco Polo Cycling Team  
85Kristijan Durasek (Cro) Loborika  
86Danil Komkov (Rus) Russian Federation  
87Roman Zhiyentayev (Kaz) Kazakhstan  
88Ying Hon Yeung (HKg) Hong Kong, China  
89Christopher Juul-Jensen (Den) Glud & Marstrand - LRO Radgivning  
90Tu Yue (Chn) People's Republic of China  
91Alex Coutts (GBr) Giant Asia Racing Team  
92Long Jin (Chn) Skil - Shimano0:04:44 
93Liu Bo (Chn) People's Republic of China  
94Liu Peng (Chn) People's Republic of China  
95Anatoliy Sosnitskyy (Ukr) Ukraine  
96Esad Hasanovic (Srb) Partizan Srbija  
97Xu Gang (Chn) People's Republic of China0:06:13 
98Ian Smallman (NZl) Subway - Avanti0:06:25 
99Massimo Demarin (Cro) Loborika  
100Jacob Nielsen (Den) Glud & Marstrand - LRO Radgivning  
101Darko Blaževic (Cro) Loborika  
102Kam Po Wong (HKg) Hong Kong, China  
103Sierk Jan De Haan (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels  
104Jonathan Lovelock (Aus) Marco Polo Cycling Team0:07:10 
105Bernard Van Ulden (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Kenda  
106Jure Zrimsek (Slo) Slovenia  
107Andrej Omulec (Slo) Slovenia  
108Salvatore Mancuso (Ita) ISD - Neri0:08:05 
109Sergiy Grechyn (Ukr) Amore & Vita - Conad  
110James Williamson (NZl) Subway - Avanti  
111King Wai Cheung (HKg) Hong Kong, China  
112Yuriy Metlushenko (Ukr) Amore & Vita - Conad  
113Martijn Verschoor (Ned) Team Type 1  
114Erler Tobias (Ger) Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team  
115Ki Ho Choi (HKg) Hong Kong, China  
116Ho Ting Kwok (HKg) Hong Kong, China0:09:07 
117Alexandre Geniez (Fra) Skil - Shimano  
DNSVladimir Likhachev (Rus) Russian Federation  
DNFBradeley Hall (Aus) Marco Polo Cycling Team  


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