Rory Townsend (Canyon-DHB) claimed his second stage win of the 2019 Tour of Fuzhou as he smartly anticipated the reduced bunch sprint 800 metres before the finish line in Lianjiang.
Russia’s Ivan Smirnov and Colombia’s Carlos Quintero rounded out the podium, the latter moving up to third place overall thanks to the time bonus, having unsuccessfully tried to surprise Lyu Xianjing on the uncategorised climb with 10km to go.
Race leader Ilya Davidenok kept the situation under control on the same stage he dethroned Lyu last year.
“I felt really really good today”, Townsend declared. “I gave myself sort of a slightly easy day yesterday because my teammate Charles Page had a good day at the front. In the end, I was in the front group and I could see it was sort of messy around, so I just decided to go early and I had time to enjoy my victory.”
An eight-man breakaway was formed half-way into the race, with Townsend’s team-mate Ryan Christensen, Adriaan Janssen (Monkey Town-A bloc), Metkel Eyob (Terengganu TSG), Redwan Ebrahim (Pro Touch), Feng Chung Kai (Chinese Taipei), Jay Dutton (St George), Jiang He (Hengxiang) and Joseph Areruya (Delko Marseille). They were brought back with 30km to go and the bunch split again on the last climb, leaving Townsend the fastest man at the front with a few teammates.
“It was a good stage for me”, Townsend added. “I can usually climb quite well but not necessarily for too long, so these climbs were perfect for me. It was very hectic at the start but I told the guys to stay calm. When the move went away, we were quite confident to bring them back if we could ride hard enough on the climb. Our plan was to ride the second climb really hard. In the end, the real damage came on the last climb as the general classification contenders attacked one another.
“I was in a little move before the sprint”, he added. “I was confident that whoever can go over that climb, if it came to a sprint I would have a good chance of winning. In the end my teammate Max [Stedman] came through to do a lead-out but he came very quickly so I kind of let him go and a couple of guys attacked across to him and I followed them. As they caught him, I kind of sat up a little bit and I sped through. I went from 800 metres to go and I enjoyed the last 200.
“In a way, it was exquisite. This is how I won a lot of races, actually, whereas a bunch sprint was a little more of a surprise. This one was a very well executed plan and a team victory.”
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Rory Townsend (Irl) Canyon-DHB||2:28:13|
|2||Ivan Smirnov (Rus) Russia|
|3||Carlos Quintero (Col) Ningxia Sports Lottery-Livall|
|4||Mykhaylo Kononenko (Ukr) Shenzhen Zidesheng|
|5||Samuel Volkers (Aus) Memil-CCN|
|6||Lev Gonov (Rus) Russia|
|7||Ryan Cavanagh (Aus) St George Continental|
|8||Julien El Fares (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence|
|9||Bailey Walters (Aus) Memil-CCN|
|10||Lucas De Rossi (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Ilya Davidenok (Kaz) Shenzhen Zidesheng||10:23:42|
|2||Artur Fedosseyev (Kaz) Shenzhen Zidesheng||0:00:04|
|3||Carlos Quintero (Col) Ningxia Sports Lottery-Livall||0:00:51|
|4||Lyu Ziangjing (Chi) Hengxiang Cycling Team|
|5||Michael Vink (NZl) St George Continental||0:01:00|
|6||Artem Ovechkin (Rus) Terrenganu||0:01:05|
|7||Lev Gonov (Rus) Russia||0:01:15|
|8||Julien El Fares (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence||0:01:18|
|9||Bailey Walters (Aus) Memil-CCN||0:01:24|
|10||Vasili Bialiauski (Bel) Minsk Cycling Club||0:01:30|
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