Race: Tour of Taihu Lake – Stage 6
Distance: 73.6 kilometers
Jinhu, China— Team Novo Nordisk concluded the 2019 edition of Tour of Taihu Lake on a good note as Andrea Peron sprinted to a valiant 5th place in the sixth and final stage of the Chinese race.
The short, flat 73.6 km stage in Jinhu delivery a fast day of racing with multiple attacks flying off the front early on. The moves were closed down one after the other but eventually halfway through a group of five riders were able to put some daylight between themselves and the peloton. The breakaway was kept on a close leash and their advantage never surpassed the one minute mark.
The escapees were brought back just before the closing kilometers as the sprinters teams upped the pace for the final bunch sprint of the race.
Italian Marco Benfatto (Androni Giocattoli) won the mad dash to the line ahead of teammate Matteo Pelucchi. Team Novo Nordisk did very well to deliver Andrea Peron in a good position for the final sprint and the 30-year-old Italian powered to a strong 5th place, his best result in the race.
Sam Brand crossed the finish line safely in the peloton and concluded the race as the best placed Team Novo Nordisk rider in the General Classification in 16th place, just 51 seconds down on the overall race winner Dylan Kennett (St George). It was the best GC result for the 28-year-old Isle of Man native as a professional cyclist.
“Today was the last stage of Tour of Taihu Lake. It was a nice race with really short stages, almost completely flat. Today the team put me in a good position and I got 5th place. I really have to thank my teammates for their support this week as my condition was not where it’s usually at. Still we managed to get some good results and it’s positive to finish the race with a top 5.”
“This is my best result ever on GC and I knew the margins would be tight so it was important to always be on top, consistent and positive. After Slovakia I came into the race unsure of how things would go due to only two weeks in between but feeling confident. From the prologue, I knew I had some good form and my confidence grew from there. I looked for a breakaway everyday to gain experience and to test myself but it wasn’t until this came off that I knew how close the top 20 really was. It was great to take a second at one intermediate and to push up into the top 20. Moreover, we had a great team work that really did contribute massively to achieve this. Supporting Andrea (Peron) and the rest of the team kept me consistently placed at the front which was fantastic.”
Stage 6 Classification
1st – Marco Benfatto (Androni Giocattoli) – 01:35:55
2nd – Matteo Pelucchi (Androni Giocattoli) – 00:00:00
3rd – Boris Vallée (Wanty – Gobert Cycling Team) – 00:00:00
5th – Andrea Peron (Team Novo Nordisk) – 0:00:00
(Photos: ©Anne Wu)