Race: 2018 Tour of Hainan, stage 2
Start/Finish: Danzhou / Chengmai, China
Distance: 139.6 kilometers
CHENGMAI, CHN – Tropical heat ruled the peloton on Wednesday as Team Novo Nordisk kept its cool at the Tour of Hainan.
Sweltering October beach weather blanketed the Chinese island during the 140km flat stage from Danzhou to Chengmai, with a full peloton sprint at the end to put German rider Lucas Carstensen across the line first. TNN’s Declan Irvine was the top finisher for the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team, in the same time as the winner.
Teammates rallied for the three-hour stage to get fresh bottles from the team car, keeping hydrated and cool under a blazing sun. With two stages done, there remain seven days of racing at the 2018 Tour of Hainan.
On Thursday the peloton will go 231km back south across the island, the longest stage in this year’s race. Mercifully flat, the riders will look to preserve their energy as much as possible on Thursday for when the mountains begin in stage five on Saturday.
“Today’s stage started out fast. There were a lot of breakaway attempts because there was only one categorized climb today and the riders wanted the jersey; because you’ll keep the jersey for a couple of days if you got it today. It ended up in a fast final, in the bunch sprint in Chengmai.
Tomorrow’s a 230-km stage, so it’s a really long one, so we’ll need to keep on top of the hydration and make sure we’re good at the end.”
1st: Lucas Carstensen (Bike Aid): 3:05:51
2nd: PAGE Dylan Page (Switzerland): same time as Carstensen
3rd: Raymond Kreder (Team UKYO): ”
25th: Declan Irvine: “
(Photos: ©Anne Wu)