Tour of China sees the first Chinese winner of the general classification on it’s 10th edition.
22nd September, 2019 – Ya’an, Sichuan, China: Final stage of 2019 Tour of China II took the form of Y’an Mengding Mountain The Ancient Tea Horse Town Circuit Race. The final day of racing served up 91.2 km (7.6km x 12 laps), with 2 intermediate sprints at the end of lap 5 and lap 9.
Soon after the race started, Minsk Cycling sent Yauhen Sobal (Minsk Cycling Club) up the road, probing level of enthusiasm in the peloton, it didn’t take much before a sizeable breakaway group of 21 men took shape. Zheng Zhang, who has been seen off the front almost daily, once again took on the duty of driving the pace amidst opportunists, as part of Hengxiang’s security policy, to ensure his team leader has no risk keeping the race lead. Burgos BH had two riders in the lead group, which at one point established a 30 second time gap, but was eventually reeled back by the main bunch.
Kyoung Ho Park (KSPO Bianchi Asia Procycling) claimed the lap 5 intermediate sprint, followed by Marco Benfatto. Alessandro Pessot (Bardiani – CSF) and Eddie Van Heerden (ProTouch) attempted an escape before reaching intermediate sprint #2 of the day, joined by Branislau Samoilau (Minsk Cycling Club). A fourth rider Jaume Sureda (Burgos-BH) from Burgos BH tried to bridge across, but was immediately denied by Hengxiang Cycling Team’s relentless pace-setting.
With Hayden Mccormick (Team BridgeLane) claiming the lap 9 sprint, all intermediate sprint competitions were completed and all remaining was the final sprint for the stage victory. Hengxiang Cycling Team and Burgos BH were the two teams that did most of the work, chasing down final break of the day during the last lap, before drifting to the back of the peloton. Sprint teams then took over pace setting, with Reynard Butler winning the stage out of a bunch sprint, followed by previous race leader Youcef Reguigui, Burgos BH rider Matthew Gibson rounded out the podium.
From left: Youcef Reguigui, Reynard Butler and Matthew Gibson
The 21-year-old ex-mountainbiker from Yunan, Xianjing Lyu, riding for Hengxiang Cycling Team, achieved a personal breakthrough by winning both white and yellow jerseys, representing best Greater China rider and General Classification respectively, with a finishing time of 10:37:09. Sprint classification victory went to Youcef Reguigui, who rode brilliantly in the sprint battles of Tour of China 2019, while Kevin Rivera, the 2017 Tour of China overall winner, claimed polka dot jersey of KOM classification.
Xianjing Lyu achieved a personal breakthrough by winning both white and yellow jerseys
Sprint classification victory went to Youcef Reguigui
Kevin Rivera claimed polka dot jersey of KOM classification
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