Race: Tour of Hainan, stage 4
Start/Finish: Chengmai/Danzhou, China
Distance: 192 kilometers
DANZHOU, CHINA – Team Novo Nordisk bounced into action on Tuesday to bring Umberto Poli back into the peloton after a mid-race crash put the Italian rider on the ground in stage four at the Tour of Hainan.
Poli was uninjured in a small crash around 50km from Danzhou, but needed teamwork to return into the peloton as it sped towards the finish. Tuesday’s race time was longer than Monday’s by an hour, and riders felt the added distance on top of the tropical Chinese heat and humidity.
Teamwork paid off with Poli riding strong for the first Top-10 finish of his career. The Italian neo-pro has placed 11th twice in Hainan this year, and each step higher in the final standings at the end of a mass sprint represents one more decision taken correctly by the entire team in the final, frenetic moments of the bike race.
Jakub Mareczko of Italy edged Estonian Martin Laas and Aussie Anthony Giacoppo to top the podium on Tuesday. All Team Novo Nordisk riders finished in the same time as the stagewinner.
“A lot of the Asian races are quite open, with no one team taking control. We were in a lot of crosswinds after the race picked up, but we caught the break with 5km to go and it was good teamwork to get Umberto and Mehdi up for the finish.”
Team Novo Nordisk Sport Director Massimo Podenzana:
“The breakaway went after 60k today, and was caught 5k to go. Poli crashed but nothing serious, only a few abrasions, and he managed a top 10 after coming back. The guys are tired, tomorrow should be better.”
- Jakub Mareczko (Willier Trestina – Selle Italia) 1st : 4:24:23
- Martin Laas (Delko Marseille Provence KTM) 2nd : st
- Anthony Giacoppo (IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness Team) 3rd : st
Team Novo Nordisk:
- Umberto Poli 10th : st
- Gerd de Keijzer 28th : st
- Mehdi Benhamouda 34th : st
- Joonas Henttala 44th : st
- Reid McClure 74th : st
- Sam Brand 86th : st
(Photos: ©Anne Wu)