16th September, 2019 – Jianghua, Hunan, China: Tour of China II is underway today, with a 5.2km individual time trial at Jianghua, Hunan province, with an intermediate time check at kilometer 2.6. 127 riders started their battle against the clock from Shuikou township, circling Hewan village before they reached the finish line. The panflat route with only 4 sweeping 90-degree turns posted no technical challenge to the riders. The following third stage mountain-top finish will have a much bigger impact on the GC battle than today’s short time trial, the riders were given the opportunity to regroup before the true tests.
From left: Alastair Christie-Johnston, Artem Ovechkin and Sindre Bjerkestrand Haugsvaer
The hotseat today was heavily contested, the final winner Artem Ovechkin (Terengganu Cycling Team) came in with a time of 6 minutes and 12 seconds, slipping into the first yellow jersey of Tour of China II. At a close second was Alastair Christie-Johnston (Team BridgeLane), followed by Sindre Bjerkestrand Haugsvaer (Memil – CCN Pro Cycling) at third place. Taking over the white jersey representing best Greater China rider from Ran Hao (Mitchelton – BikeExchange) was Xianjing Lyu (Hengxiang Cycling Team), posting an impressive time of 6 minutes and 22 seconds.
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