Race: Tour of China II – Stage 3
Start/Finish: Mingshan/Mengding Mountain
Distance: 104.7 kilometers
Mengding Mountain, China— Team Novo Nordisk put up a fighting performance in the Queen stage of Tour of China II that took place this Saturday and took the peloton over 104.7 km of mountainous terrain between Mingshan and the Mengding Mountain.
Swiss neo-pro Oliver Behringer looked forward to the challenge and did very well to stay with the front group until halfway up the final climb, an 8.8km ascent with 6.4% average gradient.
In the end the Costa Rican Kevin Rivera (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec) proved to be the strongest climber in the peloton and won solo with four seconds advantage to local favourite Xianjing Lyu (Hengxiang Cycling Team).
Behringer was unable to match the high pace in the final kilometers and crossed the line in 47th position, four minutes down on the stage winner.
Team Novo Nordisk will conclude its participation in Tour of China II this Sunday with the fourth and final stage that consists of 12 laps of a circuit in Mingshan, totaling 94km. A bunch sprint is expected and Frenchman Mehdi Benhamouda will have a final chance to fight for a top result.
“Today was a hilltop finish and we were ready to be at the front when the climb started. The team did a great job all day and we stayed consistently near the front during the entire stage. I was able to save all my energy for the final climb and tried to stay as long as possible with the first group. Unfortunately a few kilometers from the finish I was unable to follow the pace. I was fighting until the finish line and we need to be happy because we did our best today.”
Stage 3 Classification
1st – Kevin Rivera (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec) – 02:36:33
2nd – Xianjing Lyu (Hengxiang Cycling Team). – 0:00:04
3rd – José Fernandes (Burgos – BH) – 0:00:04
47th – Oliver Behringer(Team Novo Nordisk) – 0:04:19
(Photos: ©Anne Wu)