Valognes Tested in the Sprint at Tour of China
20 September 2017
Race: Tour of China II, stage 2
Start/Finish: Lixian/Lixian, China
Distance: 98 kilometers
LIXIAN, CHINA – Team Novo Nordisk continued its second week of racing in Asia with Wednesday’s flat and furious stage 2 of the 2017 Tour of China II. Once again the late Chinese summer challenged the peloton with scorching heat, and the week’s weather forecast shows more of the same ahead.
Stage 2 was comprised of two large circuits around the Hunan Province’s Lishui River, with a finish in the regional city Lixian. The race came back together with 5km to go, and for the first time this season for many of the riders, the pieces for a team sprint fell into place.
Along flat and wide streets and down a long, straight finish with a steady wind, the Team Novo Nordisk squad worked to put Quentin Valognes in contention for a podium. But in the mass sprint, it came down to reading the race and knowing how to react.
Australia’s Scott Sunderland (IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness) edged out Spain’s Jon Aberasturi (Team UKYO) and Italian Marco Benfatto (Androni – Sidermec – Bottechia) for the win, with Valognes finishing at the same time as the leaders.
“We are learning, we are learning. Today was good to see all the race come back together. I was surprised, since it was the first time for me.”
Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team, continues racing at Tour of China II through the end of the week, with three more flat stages likely to end in mass sprints like today’s stage 2 in Lixian.
- Scott Sunderland 1st : (IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness) : 2:02:08
- Jon Aberasturi 2nd : (Team UKYO) : st
- Marco Benfatto 3rd : (Androni – Sidermec – Bottechia ) st
Team Novo Nordisk:
- Quentin Valognes 23rd : st
- Mehdi Benhamouda 30th : st
- Stephen Clancy 88th : st
- Sam Brand 116th : 0:45 back
- Chris Williams 117th : 0:45 back
- Gerd De Keijzer 123rd : 2:01 back
(Photos: ©Anne Wu)