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Wippert wins in Tour de Taiwan

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'Well done Wouter'

'Well done Wouter'
(Image credit: Tour de Taiwan 2014 / Sonoko Tanaka)
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It was a good day for Drapac

It was a good day for Drapac
(Image credit: Tour de Taiwan 2014 / Sonoko Tanaka)
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Sydnergy Baku

Sydnergy Baku
(Image credit: Tour de Taiwan 2014 / Sonoko Tanaka)
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Remy Di Gregorio and Jeff Quenet

Remy Di Gregorio and Jeff Quenet
(Image credit: Tour de Taiwan 2014 / Sonoko Tanaka)
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Jeff Quenet interviews the race leader and stage winner

Jeff Quenet interviews the race leader and stage winner
(Image credit: Tour de Taiwan 2014 / Sonoko Tanaka)
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A big smile for Remy

A big smile for Remy
(Image credit: Tour de Taiwan 2014 / Sonoko Tanaka)
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Wouter Wippert is interviewed after the stage

Wouter Wippert is interviewed after the stage
(Image credit: Tour de Taiwan 2014 / Sonoko Tanaka)
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Cam Wurf signing autographs

Cam Wurf signing autographs
(Image credit: Tour de Taiwan 2014 / Sonoko Tanaka)
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Jan Sokol (Synergy Baku) descending

Jan Sokol (Synergy Baku) descending
(Image credit: Tour de Taiwan 2014 / Sonoko Tanaka)
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Don't look back

Don't look back
(Image credit: Tour de Taiwan 2014 / Sonoko Tanaka)
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Drapac in control

Drapac in control
(Image credit: Tour de Taiwan 2014 / Sonoko Tanaka)
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A small break

A small break
(Image credit: Tour de Taiwan 2014 / Sonoko Tanaka)
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Schweizer and Wippert sprint for the prize

Schweizer and Wippert sprint for the prize
(Image credit: Tour de Taiwan 2014 / Sonoko Tanaka)
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Christoph Schweizer almost caught Wippert on the line

Christoph Schweizer almost caught Wippert on the line
(Image credit: Tour de Taiwan 2014 / Sonoko Tanaka)
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Wouter Wippert (Drapac) had a narrow win over Christoph Schweizer

Wouter Wippert (Drapac) had a narrow win over Christoph Schweizer
(Image credit: Tour de Taiwan 2014 / Sonoko Tanaka)
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Wouter Wippert (Drapac) celebrates the win

Wouter Wippert (Drapac) celebrates the win
(Image credit: Tour de Taiwan 2014 / Sonoko Tanaka)
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Wouter Wippert (Drapac) on stage

Wouter Wippert (Drapac) on stage
(Image credit: Tour de Taiwan 2014 / Sonoko Tanaka)
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Nan Wu collecting his polka dot jersey

Nan Wu collecting his polka dot jersey
(Image credit: Tour de Taiwan 2014 / Sonoko Tanaka)
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Remy Di Gregorio leads the points classification as well

Remy Di Gregorio leads the points classification as well
(Image credit: Tour de Taiwan 2014 / Sonoko Tanaka)
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Remy Di Gregorio remains in yellow

Remy Di Gregorio remains in yellow
(Image credit: Tour de Taiwan 2014 / Sonoko Tanaka)
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The polka dot jersey of Nan Wu

The polka dot jersey of Nan Wu
(Image credit: Tour de Taiwan 2014 / Sonoko Tanaka)
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Synergy Baku

Synergy Baku
(Image credit: Tour de Taiwan 2014 / Sonoko Tanaka)
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Yesterday's stage winner has a chat

Yesterday's stage winner has a chat
(Image credit: Tour de Taiwan 2014 / Sonoko Tanaka)
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Chinese Taipei

Chinese Taipei
(Image credit: Tour de Taiwan 2014 / Sonoko Tanaka)
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Stolting are presented to the crowd with green jersey wearer Jan Dieteren

Stolting are presented to the crowd with green jersey wearer Jan Dieteren
(Image credit: Tour de Taiwan 2014 / Sonoko Tanaka)
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The Japanese national team

The Japanese national team
(Image credit: Tour de Taiwan 2014 / Sonoko Tanaka)
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Thumbs up

Thumbs up
(Image credit: Tour de Taiwan 2014 / Sonoko Tanaka)
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Taiwanese fans

Taiwanese fans
(Image credit: Tour de Taiwan 2014 / Sonoko Tanaka)
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Remy Di Gregorio at the start

Remy Di Gregorio at the start
(Image credit: Tour de Taiwan 2014 / Sonoko Tanaka)
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Cannondale presented to the crowd

Cannondale presented to the crowd
(Image credit: Tour de Taiwan 2014 / Sonoko Tanaka)
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La Pomme Marseille presented to the crowd

La Pomme Marseille presented to the crowd
(Image credit: Tour de Taiwan 2014 / Sonoko Tanaka)
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A Synergy Baku rider makes the turn

A Synergy Baku rider makes the turn
(Image credit: Tour de Taiwan 2014 / Sonoko Tanaka)
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Remy Di Gregorio in yellow

Remy Di Gregorio in yellow
(Image credit: Tour de Taiwan 2014 / Sonoko Tanaka)
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Remy Di Gregorio in yellow

Remy Di Gregorio in yellow
(Image credit: Tour de Taiwan 2014 / Sonoko Tanaka)
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The riders in front of a big temple

The riders in front of a big temple
(Image credit: Tour de Taiwan 2014 / Sonoko Tanaka)
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One of temples the race passed by

One of temples the race passed by
(Image credit: Tour de Taiwan 2014 / Sonoko Tanaka)
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Fans watching the race go by

Fans watching the race go by
(Image credit: Tour de Taiwan 2014 / Sonoko Tanaka)
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An exhausted Wouter Wippert (Drapac)

An exhausted Wouter Wippert (Drapac)
(Image credit: Tour de Taiwan 2014 / Sonoko Tanaka)
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Wouter Wippert (Drapac) with a post-race drink

Wouter Wippert (Drapac) with a post-race drink
(Image credit: Tour de Taiwan 2014 / Sonoko Tanaka)
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Wouter Wippet (Drapac)

Wouter Wippet (Drapac)
(Image credit: Tour de Taiwan 2014 / Sonoko Tanaka)

Dutchman Wouter Wippert of Drapac Professional Cycling emerged as the winner of the close sprint ahead of Synergy Baku's Christoph Schweizer atop the 650 metres long climb leading to the magnificent statue of Baguashan Buddha in Changhua for the thrilling finale of stage 3 in the 2014 Tour de Taiwan.

"I came to the front with 300 metres to go," Wippert described, "but that was too far away from the finish. I had to let Schweizer pass me before I made my final effort in the last 100 metres but it was tight till the very end." The crowd called up for the photo-finish to determine the winner but it was the Dutchman who had raised his arms up the air, indeed.

"This is my first race ever in Asia but I had time to look at the finishing climb prior to the start, so I knew what kind of tactic to use," Wippert explained. "It's a great finale. It looks a bit like the Cauberg [the hilltop finish of the Amstel Gold Race and the 2012 world championships]. It was also the first real bunch sprint for me as I came second on stage 1 but I slipped in the second last corner so I couldn't sprint as I wanted to. This time it went all at perfection."

"Today I feel like I've just won my first pro race as it is my first ever victory in a category 1 race," said the 23-year-old who recently claimed two stages of the New Zealand classic. Wippert also previously won a stage at the 2010 Tour of Slovakia, at the 2011 Tour of Berlin, at the 2011 Tour de l'Avenir, and at the 2012 Triptyque Monts et Châteaux, all category 2 or U23 international races.

Crossing the line in third place, ahead of a crash that involved race favorite Wesley Sulzberger (Drapac), was John Murphy from Unitedhealthcare, who collected four bonus seconds that brought him closer to overall leader Rémy Di Gregorio of La Pomme Marseille.

"But this is another good day for us," said Di Gregorio who finished fourth, just ahead of Cannondale's neo pro Davide Formolo who is a pure climber in the making. "I really loved this uphill finish. There should be more of finales like this one in cycling. It's a fantastic venue for a bike race. This is my first time in Taiwan and I'm delighted. Leading the race gives us the responsibility to control the situation but Drapac actually helped us to close the gap."

Following the King of the Mountain prize sprint after 14kmm won by local hero Feng Chung Kai of Team Gusto, a four-man breakaway led the race with Cheung King Lok (Team Hong Kong-China), Liu Chin Feng (Team Gusto), Aldo Ilesic (Unitedhealthcare) and Tim Gebauer (Team Stölting) who enjoyed an advantage of four minutes. Ilesic persisted and was the last man caught at the bottom of the spectacular uphill stretch.

Stage 4 in Tainan City is considered the queen stage of the race with a finish at Zengwen Reservoir thirty kilometres after the usual end at Guanzhiling that saw the victory of Australia's Nathan Earle who earned his first pro contract at Team Sky after imposing himself at the Tour de Taiwan last year.

Brief Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Wouter Wippert (Ned) Drapac Professional Cycling3:15:14
2Christoph Schweizer (Ger) Synergy Baku Cycling Project
3John Murphy (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team0:00:02
4Rémy Di Gregorio (Fra) La Pomme Marseille
5Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale
6Georgios Bouglas (Gre) SP Tableware
7Jiri Polnicky (Cze) Bauknecht - Author
8Takashi Miyazawa (Jpn) Japan
9Jasper Ockeloen (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg Continental Cycling Team
10Marco Zanotti (Ita) Parkhotel Valkenburg Continental Cycling Team0:00:06

General classification after stage 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rémy Di Gregorio (Fra) La Pomme Marseille7:39:57
2Benjamin Giraud (Fra) La Pomme Marseille0:00:06
3John Murphy (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team0:00:07
4Jan Dieteren (Ger) Team Stölting0:00:10
5Markus Eibegger (Aut) Synergy Baku Cycling Project0:00:11
6Marco Zanotti (Ita) Parkhotel Valkenburg Continental Cycling Team0:00:12
7Jiri Polnicky (Cze) Bauknecht - Author
8Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale
9Cameron Wurf (Aus) Cannondale0:00:15
10Ioannis Tamouridis (Gre) SP Tableware0:00:16

 

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