Mareczko makes it fives wins from seven at Taihu Lake

Italian remains race leader

Jakub Mareczko (Southeast) equaled Yuriy Metlushenko's record of five stage wins in a single Tour of Taihu Lake as he fended off his arch-rival Andrea Palini (Skydive Dubai) in front of the IMPOSANT government building in Changxing, Zhejiang province, to claim stage 7 in style. He also increased his lead in the overall classification with just two days to go.

"The wind on the banks of Taihu Lake has made the racing pretty complicated," Mareczko declared on a hot day when temperatures of nearly 30 degrees caught the riders by surprise. "But the team kept me at the front like every day. I remained protected, we managed to get another bunch sprint finish and at the end [Eugert] Zhupa and [Andrea] Dal Col have done a wonderful job once again. They have led me out fantastically."

It was all together with 11km to go following several unfruitful escapes. "Palini tried to give himself an advantage in different ways," Mareczko said. "He sent to the front a team-mate [Soufiane Haddi who opened the road for a while Rabobank's Jeroen Meijers and Andriy Vasylyuk from Kolss] in a breakaway and then [Rafaâ] Chtioui, who went alone in the last ten kilometers, but we caught him with 4km to go."

Palini denied it was a tactic to put Mareczko in difficulty but his team-mates were given more freedom. "In the first days of racing at the Tour of Taihu, they worked for me in the sprints but last night I got a stomach bug," the Italian from Skydive Dubai revealed. "I also felt a sore throat and a bit of flu coming. I wasn't feeling good. I managed to jump on Mareczko's wheel but the legs weren't responding. I just did my best to keep my position on GC. I hope to overcome this sickness quickly for a better result than second by the end of the race."

Mareczko looked serene in the approach to the finishing line, and he may be unbeatable in the remaining sprints. "There are two more flat stages to contest," the race leader concluded. "I know since the Tour of Hainan that I'm able to win bunch sprints at this level and I'd like to keep the momentum. Moreover, we're here to defend the lead till the end."

Only one rider has led the Tour of Taihu from start to finish before and that was Russia's Boris Shpilevskiy on the very first edition of the event as a stage race over five days in 2011.

Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jakub Marezcko (Ita) Southeast2:58:29 
2Andrea Palini (Ita) Skydive Dubai  
3Andriy Kulyk (Ukr) Kolss BDC Team  
4Scott Sunderland (Aus) Team Budget Forklifts  
5Ahmet Orken (Tur) Torku Sekerspor  
6Martin Laas (Est) Team Marseille 13 KTM  
7Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu) Rietumu-Delfin  
8Marco Zanotti (Ita) Parkhotel Valkenburg CT  
9Patrick Clausen (Den) Team Trefor-Blue Water  
10Boris Shpilevsky (Rus) RTS-Santic Racing Team  
General Classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jakub Marezcko (Ita) Southeast16:59:00 
2Andrea Palini (Ita) Skydive Dubai0:00:18 
3Marco Zanotti (Ita) Parkhotel Valkenburg CT0:00:24 
4Ma Guangtong (Chn) Hengxiang Cycling Team0:00:27 
5Evaldas Siskevicius (Ltu) Team Marseille 13 KTM0:00:28 
6Vitaliy Buts (Ukr) Kolss BDC Team0:00:36 
7Thomas Rabou (Ned) Attaque Team Gusto  
8Ahmet Orken (Tur) Torku Sekerspor0:00:41 
9Jingbiao Zhao (Chn) Hengxiang Cycling Team  
10Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Skydive Dubai0:00:43 

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