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Modolo doubles up and takes race lead at Tour of Hainan

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Sacha Modolo wins his second stage in two days

Sacha Modolo wins his second stage in two days
(Image credit: Jean-François Quénet)
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Sacha Modolo celebrates his second win in two days

Sacha Modolo celebrates his second win in two days
(Image credit: Tour of Hainan)
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Sacha Modolo sits up and enjoys his victory

Sacha Modolo sits up and enjoys his victory
(Image credit: Tour of Hainan)
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Sacha Modolo was the strongest in a close-fought sprint

Sacha Modolo was the strongest in a close-fought sprint
(Image credit: Tour of Hainan)
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Sacha Modolo opens up his sprint

Sacha Modolo opens up his sprint
(Image credit: Tour of Hainan)
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Wang Meiyin is now the best Asian rider in the race

Wang Meiyin is now the best Asian rider in the race
(Image credit: Tour of Hainan)
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Sacha Modolo pulls on the green jersey as leader of the points classification

Sacha Modolo pulls on the green jersey as leader of the points classification
(Image credit: Tour of Hainan)
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Yellow is now the colour for Modolo, the new race leader

Yellow is now the colour for Modolo, the new race leader
(Image credit: Tour of Hainan)
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The peloton strings out

The peloton strings out
(Image credit: Tour of Hainan)
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The breakaway riders plough on

The breakaway riders plough on
(Image credit: Tour of Hainan)
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The breakaway riders plough on

The breakaway riders plough on
(Image credit: Tour of Hainan)
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Riders roll out from the start in Haikou

Riders roll out from the start in Haikou
(Image credit: Tour of Hainan)
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Giraud, Modolo, and Jones on the podium

Giraud, Modolo, and Jones on the podium
(Image credit: Tour of Hainan)

In the wake of his breakthrough in Haikou on Thursday after a five-month drought, Sacha Modolo of Lampre-Merida doubled up in the longest stage (237km) of the tenth Tour of Hainan.

He outsprinted the up-and-coming Australian Brenton Jones of Drapac and France’s Benjamin Giraud of Marseille 13-KTM. The Italian also took over from his compatriot Andrea Palini in the lead of the overall classification.

“It was a long and hot day,” said Modolo at the finish line in Chengmai. “There wasn’t any difference in altitude but racing after 200km always puts us in the unknown. But the slightly uphill finish perfectly suited my characteristics. I was confident because I feel good these days.

"I’ve taken advantage of the Drapac team. I’ve noticed they are well organised and they have a few more guys than us for the lead out. At some stage I’ve seen one adversary trying to pass me but I knew I was fast and it would be difficult for anyone to beat me today.”

Ukraine’s Andriy Khripta was the last breakaway rider to be reeled in with 20km to go. Earlier on, Zamri Salleh (Terengganu), Tomas Vaitkus (Rietumu-Delfin) and Abdullojon Akparov (Beijing Innova) accompanied him at the front with a maximum advantage of 11 minutes 55 seconds.

Most importantly, top Chinese cyclist Wang Meiyin of Hengxiang was also part of the move and won the two hot spot sprints. Succeeding his team-mate Ma Guangtong in the lead of the best Asian rider competition, he declared: “My move wasn’t intentional, I just happened to be there when the break went even though I can feel that the European teams look at me more now than in previous years.”

According to the tactics of Hengxiang’s team manager Li Fuyu, Wang was supposed to remain quiet until the hilly stages but he’s already got a six-second lead over the other GC favorites.

The race’s scenario might be slightly different with Modolo in the yellow jersey. “Instead of following wheels, it’ll be up to us to set the pace of the bunch,” the Italian said. “We might have to burn a few guys but we’re getting closer to the hillier stages for which our designated leader is Valerio Conti.”

All first four stages have been won by Italian sprinters, namely Palini and Modolo, but every day new riders occupy the first and second places at the prize giving ceremony. “It’s been a long day on the bike," Jones commented. “We thought it would be more aggressive but after 25km, it was easy. I kept eating, drinking, looking after myself and getting the team together for the finish. We were strong enough to hold it until the very end of this long stage. It’s nice to see a developing team performing against established teams, so I’m looking forward to the rest of the Tour and next year as well.”

For Giraud it was a comeback on the podium after a difficult season hampered by an intestine fungal infection. “It took me a long time to be healthy again,” the Frenchman informed. “But I’ve got great legs now. The Tour of Hainan is one of the very few Asian races I’ve taken part in without winning a stage so I’m hoping to get one soon.”

Brief Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre-Merida5:41:28
2Brenton Jones (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling
3Benjamin Giraud (Fra) Team Marseille 13 KTM
4Andrea Palini (Ita) Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling Team
5Eduard Michael Grosu (Rom) Nippo - Vini Fantini
6Martijn Verschoor (Ned) Team Novo Nordisk
7Fabio Silvestre (Por) Trek Factory Racing
8Daniele Colli (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini
9Ruslan Tleubayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
10Evaldas Siskevicius (Ltu) Team Marseille 13 KTM

General classification after stage 4
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre-Merida14:57:39
2Andrea Palini (Ita) Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling Team0:00:09
3Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:00:23
4Vitaliy Buts (Ukr) Kolss Cycling Team
5Brenton Jones (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling
6Jakub Mareczko (Ita) Southeast Pro Cycling
7Meiyin Wang (Chn) Hengxiang Cycling Team
8Brad Evans (NZl) Drapac Professional Cycling0:00:24
9Ma Guangtong (Chn) Hengxiang Cycling Team
10Eduard Michael Grosu (Rom) Nippo - Vini Fantini0:00:25

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