Just like a year ago, stage 3 of the Tour of Fuzhou was won by Dutchman Ivar Slik (Monkey Town-A bloc), who made the most of a seven-man breakaway in the crosswinds to outclass Russian pursuiter Kirill Sveshnikov.
Charles Page (Canyon DHB) took third place for the second straight day ahead of Chinese revelation Miao Chengshuo, a time triallist in the making from Hengxiang.
"Our front group of seven was strong and the cooperation was excellent. We had a maximum lead of three minutes but we managed to keep it until the end," Slik explained.
"The Russian rider [Sveshnikov] looked very strong during the ride but I also felt good and in the finale I had a lot of confidence in myself. Tactically, I did a good race. After a hard race like today, I normally can sprint well. I’m happy that I made it.
"It’s nice to come back here to Fuzhou and win again," Slik added. "I’m not a sprinter and I’m not a climber so there aren’t many opportunities for riders like me. This is my fourth win in a category-1 pro race this year. I’m very happy with that. China suits me well, I think."
The 26-year-old hails from Bergen in the outskirts of Alkmaar. His parents live on the same street as Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix winner Niki Terpstra, who’s trying to get Slik, his training partner, onto Total Direct Energie for next year.
Another rider who seems to have a good future is Briton Charles Pages, who moved into the lead of the points classification while Ilya Davidenok (Shenzhen XDS) retained the overall lead ahead of stage 4 in Lianjiang. The 20 year old from Amersham, Buckinghamshire, came third for the second straight day but in a very different way, as he broke away one day after using his sprinting skills.
"I didn’t expect it today," Page told Cyclingnews at the finish. "Yesterday was nice because we got the first win [with Rory Townsend] as well. It was a great team ride yesterday but today it was just quite nice because I didn’t expect to go all the way to the line from the breakaway and to pick up some points from the intermediate sprints as well.
"I just couldn’t go with him [Sveshnikov] when he went at the end because I had to go for the sprints earlier on. He was too strong. I would have liked to contest the win but that’s the way the race went and it’s still a nice day of racing for me."
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Ivar Slik (Ned) Monkey Town - A Bloc||2:37:17|
|2||Kirill Sveshnikov (Rus) Russia||0:00:02|
|3||Charles Page (GBr) Canyon-DHB||0:00:10|
|4||Chengshuo Miao (Chi) Hengxiang Cycling Team|
|5||Przemyslaw Kasperkiewicz (Pol) Delko Marseille Provence||0:00:22|
|6||Blake Quick (NZl) St George Continental|
|7||Aleksandr Smirnov (Rus) Russia|
|8||Gleb Syrica (Rus) Russia|
|9||Andre Looij (Ned) Taiyuan Miogee|
|10||Rory Townsend (Irl) Canyon-DHB|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Ilya Davidenok (Kaz) Shenzhen Zidesheng||7:55:29|
|2||Artur Fedosseyev (Kaz) Shenzhen Zidesheng||0:00:04|
|3||Lyu Ziangjing (Chi) Hengxiang Cycling Team||0:00:51|
|4||Carlos Quintero (Col) Ningxia Sports Lottery-Livall||0:00:55|
|5||Michael Vink (NZl) St George Continental||0:01:00|
|6||Artem Ovechkin (Rus) Terrenganu||0:01:05|
|7||Matthieu Jeannes (Fra) Team Illuminate||0:01:06|
|8||Lev Gonov (Rus) Russia||0:01:15|
|9||Julien El Fares (Delko Marseille Provence)||0:01:18|
|10||Vasili Bialiauski (Bel) Minsk Cycling Club|
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