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Breyne breaks through in Tour of Taihu

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Jonathan Breyne (Crelan-Euphony) narrowly beat the sprinters on stage 8

Jonathan Breyne (Crelan-Euphony) narrowly beat the sprinters on stage 8 (Image credit: Tour of Taihu)
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The jerseys on stage 8

The jerseys on stage 8 (Image credit: Tour of Taihu)
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The trio remaining in the breakaway: Klaas Sys, Vitaliy Buts and Jonathan Breyne

The trio remaining in the breakaway: Klaas Sys, Vitaliy Buts and Jonathan Breyne (Image credit: Tour of Taihu)
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(Image credit: Tour of Taihu)
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An intermediate sprint goes to Vitaliy Buts

An intermediate sprint goes to Vitaliy Buts (Image credit: Tour of Taihu)
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The start of stage 8

The start of stage 8 (Image credit: Tour of Taihu)
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The breakaway grew smaller as the race went along

The breakaway grew smaller as the race went along (Image credit: Tour of Taihu)
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A large breakaway escaped early in the stage

A large breakaway escaped early in the stage (Image credit: Tour of Taihu)
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The break was whittled down to three

The break was whittled down to three (Image credit: Tour of Taihu)
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The chase from behind

The chase from behind (Image credit: Tour of Taihu)
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Torku Sekerspor brings back the breakaway

Torku Sekerspor brings back the breakaway (Image credit: Tour of Taihu)
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Jonathan Breyne leads Vitaliy Buts in the break

Jonathan Breyne leads Vitaliy Buts in the break (Image credit: Tour of Taihu)
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Jonathan Breyne (Crelan-Euphony) drives the break on the last lap

Jonathan Breyne (Crelan-Euphony) drives the break on the last lap (Image credit: Tour of Taihu)
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Jonathan Breyne (Crelan-Euphony) claimed his first pro win in Tour of Taihu

Jonathan Breyne (Crelan-Euphony) claimed his first pro win in Tour of Taihu (Image credit: Tour of Taihu)
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Stage winner Jonathan Breyne (Crelan-Euphony)

Stage winner Jonathan Breyne (Crelan-Euphony) (Image credit: Tour of Taihu)
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The stage 8 podium at Tour of Taihu: Boris Shpilevsky, Jonathan Breyne and Ahmet Örken

The stage 8 podium at Tour of Taihu: Boris Shpilevsky, Jonathan Breyne and Ahmet Örken (Image credit: Tour of Taihu)
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Best young rider Jesse Kerrison

Best young rider Jesse Kerrison (Image credit: Tour of Taihu)
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The points jersey remains with Yuriy Metlushenko (Torku Sekerspor)

The points jersey remains with Yuriy Metlushenko (Torku Sekerspor) (Image credit: Tour of Taihu)
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Race leader Yuriy Metlushenko (Torku Sekerspor)

Race leader Yuriy Metlushenko (Torku Sekerspor) (Image credit: Tour of Taihu)
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Best Chinese rider JIang Zhi Hui

Best Chinese rider JIang Zhi Hui (Image credit: Tour of Taihu)

Like in the previous days, the winner of stage 8 of the Tour of Taihu Lake was classified with the same time as the rest of the peloton, but Belgium's Jonathan Breyne of Pro Continental team Crelan-Euphony didn't win a bunch sprint. By just a few centimeters, he stayed away from the bunch sprint and won ahead of Boris Shpilevskiy of RTS-Santic. Torku's Ahmet Örken, in third, greatly helped his road captain Yuriy Metlushenko to keep his fourteen seconds lead over Alois Kankovsky with only one stage remaining.

"I could see the peloton coming back on me but I decided to do the last kilometer flat out, it was all or nothing," Breyne said. "When I realized that [last breakaway companion] Vitaly Buts was cracking, I had no doubt that I had to go. Fortunately, there was a three-quarter tail wind to help me. I was the strongest of the riders away. I pulled for eight kilometers out of sixteen in the final loop."

Breyne jumped out of the bunch with Buts and his teammate Klas Sys after the first intermediate sprint won at km 30 by Örken who rode in defense of Metlushenko's overall lead. The trio got a maximum advantage of 2:13 at km 58 of the race reduced to an 80-kilometer format for a full live telecast on CCTV. Kankovsky's Dukla Praha was the most active team at the front of the peloton but the Czech double stage winner was right to repeat that bunch gallops weren't ineluctable.

"It's really like competing in a points race on the track," said Buts who keeps chasing time bonuses on the road and is only one second down on fourth placed Jesse Kerrison, who remains the best young rider but feels the fatigue after eight days of racing, which is logical for a teenager.

But at the age of 37, veteran Metlushenko is also tired. "Today it's a real honor for me to see Ahmet [Örken] doing so well to protect my leader's jersey," the Ukrainian said. "He's my student! Seven days to defend this jersey have taken their toll. I came to the Tour of Taihu Lake with the aim of winning a stage and I've won four of them. To be the overall winner would mean a lot. We're not there yet but I'm not racing to finish second."

For the second year in a row, Örken made a top 3 in a stage of the Tour of Taihu Lake. "But I've had much more work this time with Yuriy's lead," said the 20-year-old Turkish sprinter. "I was told to stick on Kankovsky's wheel and that's how I managed to get the top three. I'm happy with it but as soon as I crossed the line, I thought I had won the race. I didn't see what was happening on my left side."

That was Breyne, who refused to be reeled in. "Pulling the bunch at the Tour of Hainan improved my condition," the Belgian winner said. "It gave me the capacity to accelerate at the end today. This is my first UCI victory. I hope it'll open me doors for a contract for next year as I don't have signed any yet. I've been unlucky since I turned pro with a bad crash against a car to start with, tendonitis in my second year, two broken ribs this season. I was feeling a bit down morally this morning because of being away from home for 24 days, but having waffles at breakfast made me happy again. It's great to come out of Crelan-Euphony's last race with a victory and get this team to finish on a high note."

Brief Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jonathan Breyne (Bel) Crelan-Euphony1:37:33
2Boris Shpilevskiy (Rus) RTS Santic Racing Team
3Ahmet Orken (Tur) Torku Sekerspor
4Yuriy Metlushenko (Ukr) Torku Sekerspor
5Alois Kankovsky (Cze) ASC Dukla Praha
6Christophe Premont (Bel) Crelan-Euphony
7Alex Wohler (Aus) Team Budget Forklifts
8Yannick Martinez (Fra) La Pomme Marseille
9Mark Sehested Pedersen (Den) Blue Water Cycling
10Simon Buttner (Fra) China Wuxi Jilun Cycling Team

General classification after stage 8
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Yuriy Metlushenko (Ukr) Torku Sekerspor18:26:55
2Alois Kankovsky (Cze) ASC Dukla Praha0:00:14
3Boris Shpilevskiy (Rus) RTS Santic Racing Team0:00:28
4Jesse Kerrison (Aus) Team Budget Forklifts0:00:40
5Vitaliy Buts (Ukr) Ukraine0:00:41
6Jiri Hochmann (Cze) ASC Dukla Praha0:00:47
7Yannick Martinez (Fra) La Pomme Marseille0:00:49
8Robert Sweeting (USA) 5 Hour Energy p/b Kenda0:00:52
9Jonathan Breyne (Bel) Crelan-Euphony
10Christophe Premont (Bel) Crelan-Euphony0:00:54

 

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