Stage 1: Wuxi Binhu - Wuxi Binhu
Italy's Jakub Mareczko of Southeast started the Tour of Taihu Lake with the number 1 on his back, and crossed the finish line of Wuxi-Binhu in first position in a bunch gallop. He beat Andriy Kulik from the Ukraine and Turkish sensation Ahmet Örken from Torku Sekerspor. The 21-year-old from Raffa di Puegnago near the Garda Lake was prompt to express his ambitions for winning the nine-day long Chinese race overall.
"I'm glad I managed to get another victory in China after stage 6 of the Tour of Hainan where discovered that I have the legs for winning races during this campaign," Mareczko declared. "The team helped me tremendously for that. They controlled the very fast start and rode behind the breakaway with 30km to go. They kept me at the front to avoid the risks of crashing as it happened last week. Dal Col did a wonderful job delivering me at 250 metres to go and I got the victory I was aiming for."
Breakaway riders Mads Rahbek (Trefor-Blue Water), Thomas Rabou (Attaque Team Gusto) and Wang Meiyin (Hengxiang) got reined in with 8.5km to go. The latter won the third intermediate sprint that put him in the lead of the Greater China special competition while all other jerseys went to Mareczko (orange for the overall ranking, green for the points classification and blue for the best young rider).
"I know some of my adversaries in this race but not all of them," Mareczko admitted. "We have a competitive team, we can do well without bothering too much about the other sprinters. We're at the level of the riders who are in contention here." Scott Sunderland, a former Australian track cyclist for sprint events was the designated sprinter in the Budget Forklifts team of defending champion Sam Witmitz but he was involved in a crash with 5km to go.
"I was confident that I could do well here after collecting a few placings at the Tour of Qinghai Lake," Kulik said while up and coming Turkish fast man Örken said his good form is due to a strong racing program ahead of the Tour of Taihu Lake. "I have had a few successes in category 2 races back home and I took part in the European championship for track racing," the 22 year old from Konya explained. "At the Tour of Taihu Lake, I'm used to getting a podium result towards the end of the race but I didn't want to wait for stage 7 or something this time around."
The Tour of Taihu Lake is known for being dead flat all the way but the race organizers haven't some interesting hills on stage 5. However, Mareczko doesn't seem to worry about them. "For sure, the goal is to win the overall classification, since the course isn't too hard for me," the Italian warned. "We're definitely riding for the GC here."
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Jakub Mareczko (Ita) SouthEast||3:03:59|
|2||Andriy Kulyk (Ukr) Kolss BDC Team|
|3||Ahmet Orken (Tur) Torku Sekerspor|
|4||Boris Shipilevsky (Rus) RTS-Santic Racing Team|
|5||Andrea Palini (Ita) Skydive Dubai|
|6||Marco Zanotti (Ita) Parkhotel Valkenburg CT|
|7||Sam Witmitz (Aus) Team budget Forklifts|
|8||Martijn Verschoor (Ned) Team Novo Nordisk|
|9||Zsolt Der (Hun) Start - Massi Cycling Team|
|10||Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu) Rietumu - Delfin|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Jakub Mareczko (Ita) SouthEast||3:03:49|
|2||Andriy Kulyk (Ukr) Kolss BDC Team||0:00:04|
|3||Ahmet Orken (Tur) Torku Sekerspor||0:00:06|
|4||Sam Witmitz (Aus) Team budget Forklifts||0:00:07|
|5||Meiyin Wang (Chn) Hengxiang Cycling Team|
|6||Soufiane Haddi (Mor) Skydive Dubai|
|7||Martin Blaha (Cze) Team Dukla Praha||0:00:08|
|8||Thomas Rabou (Attaque Team Gusto||0:00:09|
|9||Ying Chuan Gu (Chn) Giant-Champion System|
|10||Yoan Verardo (Fra) Team Marseille 13 KTM|
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