Brand & Henttala Shine in Tour of Hainan Queen Stage
03 November 2017
Race: Tour of Hainan, stage 7
Start/Finish: Sanya/Wuzishan, China
Distance: 166 kilometers
WUZISHAN, CHINA – Team Novo Nordisk took on the 2017 Tour of Hainan Queen Stage on Friday with all riders at full strength for the hardest day of the week.
With four categorized climbs over 166km on a hot and humid day, Sam Brand and Joonas Henttala rode at the front of the chasing peloton behind a small breakaway to keep themselves in the race. After lending assistance in the early part, Gerd De Keijzer and Mehdi Benhamouda settled back while Reid McClure and Umberto Poli took turns hauling water from the team car to the front during the stage.
Italian Jacopo Mosca won the stage ahead of Spain’s Benjamin Prades, with Dutch rider Marc De Maar finishing off the day’s podium. Brand and Henttala linked up with a small group of climbers including the King of the Mountain jersey winner Vitaliy Buts of Ukraine to cross the line a few minutes back.
“It was a very tough 165km, and full gas from the start. On the descents everyone was working to bring the breakaway back, Joonas, Umberto and I were there for the final climb, and in the attacks it all blew up.”
Team Novo Nordisk Sport Director Massimo Podenzana:
“For us this was a hard stage. Gerd and Mehdi worked until 60km to go, then Umberto and Reid until the final climb. Joonas and Sam were where they were supposed to be at the end of the race.”
- Jacopo Mosca (Willier Trestina – Selle Italia) 1st : 4:16:55
- Benjamin Prades (Team UKYO) 2nd : st
- Marc De Maar (Hengxiang Cycling Team) 3rd : st
Team Novo Nordisk:
- Sam Brand 41st : 3:00 back
- Joonas Henttala 42st : 3:00 back
- Umberto Poli 70th : 7:42 back
- Reid McClure 83nd : 12:35 back
- Gerd de Keijzer 100th : 27:43 back
- Mehdi Benhamouda 106th : 25:39 back
(Photos: ©Anne Wu)