Aquirre wins Tour of Qinghai Lake thanks to mountain-stage prowess

Columbia’s Hernan Aguirre of Manzana Postbon won the 17th Tour of Qinghai Lake as expected, safely finishing the 13th and final stage on Saturday.

The 22-year-old essentially sealed the title – barring incident or health issues – after he won the fourth and sxith stage in the mountains to build up a one minute five seconds lead, which turned out to be unassailable as the remaining seven stages were flat road races.

His fellow Colombian Hernando Bohorquez finished second overall, while 2015 race winner Radoslav Rogina (Adria Mobil) of Croatia maintained third. The green points jersey bounced to the back of Stage 10 winner Dusan Rajovic (Adria Mobil) of Serbia.

Kazakhstan’s Ilya Davidenok (Beijing XDS-Innova) wrapped up the ‘Best Asian Rider’ classification to take home the blue jersey.

Kaden Groves of Australia, helped by his teammates, claimed victory in the final stage.

Piloted by the “greatest under-23 lead-out man in cycling” Jacob Hennessy, who has two podiums to his credit including third on the penultimate stage on Friday, Mitchelton-BikeExchange sprinter Groves continued to get his sprint train dialled in as he outsprinted other riders in a circuit race of Lanzhou.

“It was absolutely unreal for both of us to end up leaving the race with a win, especially being a Chinese team and racing here in China,” said Hennessy, who also finished second to Australian Brenton Jones (Delko-Marseille Provence KTM) on Stage 2. “I think this might actually be our first big pro win in China.”

Stage 5 winner Cameron Scott (Australian Cycling Academy) finished third behind runner-up Lucas Carstensen (Bike Aid) of Germany.