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Metlushenko makes it three in a row at Tour of Taihu Lake

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Yuriy Metlushenko (Torku Sekerspor) continues to lead the Tour of Taihu.

Yuriy Metlushenko (Torku Sekerspor) continues to lead the Tour of Taihu. (Image credit: Tour of Taihu)
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Ukranian riders making a break for it.

Ukranian riders making a break for it. (Image credit: Tour of Taihu)
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The peloton cornering.

The peloton cornering. (Image credit: Tour of Taihu)
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One of the Crelan-Euphony riders going solo.

One of the Crelan-Euphony riders going solo. (Image credit: Tour of Taihu)
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No one was getting away during the fast and flat stage three.

No one was getting away during the fast and flat stage three. (Image credit: Tour of Taihu)
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The remainder of the peloton at one of the intermediate sprints.

The remainder of the peloton at one of the intermediate sprints. (Image credit: Tour of Taihu)
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An intermediate sprint.

An intermediate sprint. (Image credit: Tour of Taihu)
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Riders attacking early on.

Riders attacking early on. (Image credit: Tour of Taihu)
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The bunch getting lined out.

The bunch getting lined out. (Image credit: Tour of Taihu)
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In the thick of the peloton.

In the thick of the peloton. (Image credit: Tour of Taihu)
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Time bonuses are hotly contested at the Tour of Taihu Lake.

Time bonuses are hotly contested at the Tour of Taihu Lake. (Image credit: Tour of Taihu)
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The racing was fast on the new Chinese highways.

The racing was fast on the new Chinese highways. (Image credit: Tour of Taihu)
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Riders were aggressive from the beginning.

Riders were aggressive from the beginning. (Image credit: Tour of Taihu)
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The jersey wearers at the stage three start line.

The jersey wearers at the stage three start line. (Image credit: Tour of Taihu)
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Stage three ended in another bunch sprint.

Stage three ended in another bunch sprint. (Image credit: Tour of Taihu)
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Yuriy Metlushenko (Torku Sekerspor) on the podium with Alois Kankovsky (Dukla Praha) and Boris Shpilevskiy (RTS-Santic) after stage 3 of the Tour of Taihu.

Yuriy Metlushenko (Torku Sekerspor) on the podium with Alois Kankovsky (Dukla Praha) and Boris Shpilevskiy (RTS-Santic) after stage 3 of the Tour of Taihu. (Image credit: Tour of Taihu)
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Yuriy Metlushenko (Torku Sekerspor) wins stage 3 of the Tour of Taihu.

Yuriy Metlushenko (Torku Sekerspor) wins stage 3 of the Tour of Taihu. (Image credit: Tour of Taihu)
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Jesse Kerrison (Budget Forklifts) is best young rider at the Tour of Taihu.

Jesse Kerrison (Budget Forklifts) is best young rider at the Tour of Taihu. (Image credit: Tour of Taihu)
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Yuriy Metlushenko (Torku Sekerspor) wears the points jersey at the Tour of Taihu.

Yuriy Metlushenko (Torku Sekerspor) wears the points jersey at the Tour of Taihu. (Image credit: Tour of Taihu)

Following the Tour of Hainan where the Belkin team won nine stages out of nine and the overall classification, the Tour of Taihu Lake has seen another repeat sequence of victories, as Yuriy Metlushenko of Torku Seker Spor won a bunch sprint for the third day in a row.

Metlushenko preceded Dukla Praha’s Alois Kankovsky and Boris Shpilevskiy of RTS-Santic by an even bigger margin than the previous two days. He has thus increased his lead on GC over the Czech rider to sixteen seconds while the Russian was the main beneficiary of stage 3, as he added a total of seven seconds in time bonus to move up to third overall.

“I’m amazed once again that I won,” Metlushenko said. “With four riders in the lead, we agreed in the bunch that we were racing for fifth place but Crelan-Euphony and Budget Forklifts closed the gap.”

The four riders were Frantisek Sisr of Dukla Praha, Metlushenko’s team-mate Sergey Grechyn and his compatriots from the Ukraine national team Andriy Vasulyuk and Mykhaylo Kononenko. Therefore, the three strongest teams in the race became passive at the back.

But the gap didn’t exceed thirty seconds and the wide roads were favorable to a regrouping that caused a crash with 2km to go. Red jersey wearer of best Greater China rider Jiang Zhi Hui from Max Success Sport went down heavily while best young rider Jesse Kerrison of Budget Forklifts got caught behind the crash. “Then I was too tired to sprint against Metlushenko,” said the Australian. “It’s a disappointing day because I also couldn’t shift my gear to the 11 cog so I missed out on the intermediate sprints as well.”

That’s where Shpilevskiy found himself again. “I’m getting better and better every day,” said the winner of the 2011 Tour of Taihu Lake. “I hope that I won’t have to wait for Sunday to win a stage but it all depends on my physical condition.”

“There are many good sprinters here,” noted Metlushenko. “I’m lucky that even though he had produced a strong effort in the breakaway, Grechyn was still able to lead me out in the last kilometer. I was in second position in the last curve. I started sprinting very early. Every victory is precious for me. I’ve had a season below my expectations and I’m still without a contract for next year.

“Today’s win is dedicated to my wife Natalia. Although she’s happy when I win, she has to wait for me at our house in Italy while I’m racing in China for one month. Everything I have, I owe it to cycling: my education that gave me two diplomas in jurisprudence and teaching sport, my military service, my discovery of the world, my practice of foreign languages… I even met my wife thanks to cycling. All my background in that sport makes happy winning at my age [37].”
 

Brief Results
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Yuriy Metlushenko (Ukr) Torku Sekerspor2:02:12
2Alois Kankovsky (Cze) ASC Dukla Praha
3Boris Shpilevsky (Rus) RTS-Santic Racing Team
4Alex Wohler (Aus) Team Budget Forklifts
5Munkhtulga Erdenesuren (Mon) Malak Cycling Team
6Ahmet Orken (Tur) Torku Sekerspo
7Vitaly Buts (Ukr) Ukraine
8Merk Pederson (Den) Blue Water Cycling
9Yannick Martinez (Fra) La Pomme Marseille
10Rasmus Guldhammer (Den) Blue Water Cycling

General classification after stage 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Yuriy Metlushenko (Ukr) Torku Sekerspor6:22:32
2Alois Kankovsky (Cze) ASC Dukla Praha0:00:16
3Boris Shpilevsky (Rus) RTS-Santic Racing Team0:00:24
4Vitaly Buts (Ukr) Ukraine0:00:25
5Jiri Hochmann (Cze) ASC Dukla Praha0:00:26
6Yannick Martinez (Fra) La Pomme Marseille0:00:27
7Jesse Kerrison (Aus) Team Budget Forklifts
8Christophe Premont (Bel) Crelan-Euphony0:00:29
9Juan Carlos Martinez (Spa) Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon0:00:32
10Kevin Peeters (Bel) Crelan-Euphony

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