- The team really did a great job today, as they brought me to the front in the final and then Hugo Houle was able to keep me there until the final kilometer. But when we were heading to the finish I started my sprint just a little too late, as the other guys already created a gap. I was able to close that gap, but not able to jump over the first guys. Too bad, as my legs were good today and the team performed really well. Now it’s up for the GC riders in our team, tomorrow I will work for them, I hope I will get another chance after tomorrow’s stage. – Riccardo Minali.
Four local laps in the streets of Guangxi capital Nanning today. A total of 125.4 kilometers, finishing in another bunch sprint. Four riders took off right from the start for the day’s breakaway, but just like the first two stages, they were not able to come close to a stage victory. The sprint teams controlled the race and going in the final, the riders of Astana brought their sprinter Riccardo Minali to the front of the bunch.
Hugo Houle protected Minali into the final kilometer, but with 250 meters to go the young Italian sprinter started his sprint just too late to battle with the fastest sprinters of the day. He finished sixth, just behind winner Fabio Jakobsen and runner-ups Pascal Ackermann and Max Walscheid.
Tomorrow the first and maybe final test for the riders who aim for the general classification at the Gree-Tour of Guangxi, as the race will finish at the Mashan Nongla Scenic Spot after a brutal final climb. The riders will start in Nanning for the 152.2 kilometers, which has just one other categorized climb earlier in the stage (3rd category).
Photo credit: Bettiniphoto