Stage 5: Fuqing - Fuqing
History has been made at the Tour of Fuzhou as a trio of young riders led home the bunch sprint on stage 5. 19-year-old Lev Gonov pipped compatriot Gleb Syritsa and Australia's Blake Quick on the line in Fuqing. The bunch gallop came after Bai Li Jun (Ningxia Sports Lottery Livall), Jiang He (Hengxiang) and Matej Drinovec (Taiyuan Miogee) were reeled in with 16.5km to go
All born in the year 2000, Gonov, Syritsa and Quick know each other from last year's junior world championships in which Quick won the Madison with Luke Plapp while the Russian duo took the silver medal.
Quick, touted as the next Australian top sprinter after Kaden Groves, who imposed himself at the last two Tour of Fuzhou, is yet to win a stage but he moved in the green jersey for the first time of his career.
Gonov, who remains a pursuiter on the track with the aim of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics throughout the coming World Cups, claimed his first international road race victory on a flat course after making the top 10 of stage 1 uphill.
"I hope to make the top 10 again in the queen stage tomorrow", Gonov said. "I'm very happy to get today's win in China for Russia. I'm proud of representing my country and be coached here by Mr Kuznetsov who is the greatest trainer in the world. I hope he'll make me an even better rider than Viatcheslav Ekimov."
Alexander Kuznetsov, 78, Russian coach since 1964, the man behind the triumph of USSR in the team pursuit at the Seoul Olympics (with Ekimov, Gintautas Umaras, Arturas Kasputis and Dimitri Nielubin) among many other achievements, is in China directing his riders and driving the team car of the national team.
Following two successive second places with Kirill Sveshnikov on stage 3 and Ivan Smirnov on stage 4, who rode generously but not necessarily smartly, his team took a more conservative approach to emerge only in the last kilometre of stage 5.
It was nothing like a standard bunch sprint with no organisation whatsoever and the Canyon DHB team of green jersey holder Rory Townsend got boxed in. "The impact of the wind was massive", Quick explained. "There was no lead-out. I had to push a lot of wind, going the long way out. One of the Russians [Gonov] went early. They went like randomly right up the front. They bored everyone else and he [Syritsa] came over me later on the line. It was a hard finish. The wind was coming from the left, across to the right and I had it in the gutter on the right hand side, all the way."
Quick has another chance on the conclusive stage on Saturday. Last year, his St George team also had to wait for the last day to win at the Tour of Fuzhou. Ilya Davidenok (Shenzhen XDS) remains in the lead of the overall classification on the eve of the queen stage in which he and his teammate Artur Fedosseyev will face a fierce competition by Carlos Quintero (Ningxia Sports Lottery Livall) and Lyu Xianjing (Hengxiang).
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Lev Gonov (Rus) Russian Federation||2:53:27|
|2||Gleb Syritsa (Rus) Russian Federation|
|3||Blake Quick (Aus) St George Continental Cycling Team|
|4||Yuan Tang Peng (Tpe) Chinese Taipei|
|5||Chun kai Feng (Tpe) Chinese Taipei|
|6||Aliaksei Shnyrko (Blr) Ningxia Sports Lottery Livall Gusto|
|7||Julien el Fares (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence|
|8||Mykhaylo Kononenko (Ukr) Shenzhen Xidesheng Cycling Team|
|9||Ivar Slik (Ned) Monkey Town - a Block Ct|
|10||Alexandr Smirnov (Rus) Russian Federation|
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Ilya Davidenok (Kaz) Shenzhen Xidesheng Cycling Team||13:17:09|
|2||Artur Fedosseyev (Kaz) Shenzhen Xidesheng Cycling Team||0:00:04|
|3||Carlos Julian Quintero Noreña (Col) Ningxia Sports Lottery Livall Gusto||0:00:51|
|4||Xianjing Lyu (Chn) Hengxiang Cycling Team|
|5||Michael Vink (NZl) St George Continental Cycling Team||0:01:00|
|6||Lev Gonov (Rus) Russian Federation||0:01:05|
|7||Artem Ovechkin (Rus) Terengganu inc. TSG Cycling Team|
|8||Julien el Fares (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence||0:01:18|
|9||Bailey Walters (Aus) Memil pro Cycling||0:01:24|
|10||Vasili Bialiauski (Blr) Minsk Cycling Club||0:01:30|
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