Ngo Van Phuong claimed the first stage victory on the HTV Cup for the AnGiang team, which hails from the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi. Stage 11 was a criterium that consisted of 17 laps of 3.1km for a total of 52km in Buon Me Thuot, the capital city of Dak Lak province in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. Ngo Van Phuong outclassed Dang Van Bao Anh (Vinh Long) and Huynh Nhat Hoa (Ynghua Dong Nai), while Nguyen Tan Hoai (Domesco) retained the yellow for the ninth consecutive day.
“I’m very happy for this victory,” Ngo Van Phuong said. “I owe it to my team. They supported me greatly since the beginning of the race.”
Six breakaway riders enjoyed a 35-second lead at the first intermediate sprint after six laps, won by Phun Van Loc (Team Q7), though he was dropped soon afterwards. His teammate Vo Minh Gia Bao was left alone in the front group where Ngo Van Phuong could count on the help of Nguyen Van Duong, also from Hanoi. Ngo Van Phuong didn’t wait for the final sprint and rode away to snatch a well-deserved victory.
A day in the highlands offered the riders a bit of respite in the fresh air before heading back to the coast for the 190km-long stage 12 from Buon Me Thuot to Nha Trang. The stage begins on a plateau that will favour attacks before the peloton faces a long downhill section towards the Sea of China. The 23 riders still in contention for the overall classification have already set their sights on the crucial team time trial in Nha Trang on June 2.
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