8th September, 2019 – Weichang, Chengde, China: Stage 2 is the only Individual Time Trial stage in the 10th edition of Tour of China I. The stage featured a 7.8 km course through Yongqian hunting ground, the twisty and lumpy terrain made for a challenging technical time trial, with the intermediate time check set at mid-point of the race.
2019 Tour of China I consists of 3 other flat circuit races and a rolling stage, making today’s ITT crucially important for GC contenders. Race hotseat was claimed by Russian Time Trial specialist Artem Ovechkin (Terengganu Inc. TSG Pro Team) with a time of 9’26’’17, before eventually taken by Mirco Maestri (Bardiani CSF) by an 11 second margin. Hayden McCormick slotted between Maestri and Ovechkin, rounding out the podium after posting 9’24’’ in today’s race.
From left: Hayden McCormick, Mirco Maestri and Artem Ovechkin
The brilliant performance boosted Maestri into the race lead with a cumulative time of 2:15:38. No sprint or KOM points were awarded today, hence no change in the leaderboards. Roy Eefting keeps his blue jersey while Jambaljamts Sainbayar remains in KOM jersey as well. Ran Hao from Mitchelton-BikeExchange currently leads the competition in Best Greater China Rider, trailing the yellow jersey by 31 seconds.
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