Crosswinds Make For Hectic Stage at Tour of Taihu Lake
14 October 2017
Race: Tour of Taihu Lake, stage 4
Start/Finish: Wujian/Wujian, China
Distance: 117 kilometers
WUJIAN, CHINA – Crosswinds on a hot dog race course filled up most of Saturday at the Tour of Taihu Lake, with stage four coming down to another mass sprint for the peloton and Team Novo Nordisk.
Team tactics during the fast stages put pressure on all six riders from the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling squad to work together and split up the many jobs to be done. Fetching water from the team car behind the peloton, offering protection from the constant crosswinds and navigating to the front as the finish line approaches kept everyone busy right up to the sprint finish at the end.
Top finisher on Saturday was again Italy’s Jakub Mareczko, sprinting ahead of fellow countryman Nicolas Marini and Ukraine’s Andriy Kulyk. All Team Novo Nordisk riders finished in the same time as the stage winner.
Rik Van Ijzendoorn:
“Very hectic race today because we had constant crosswinds for all six laps of a hot dog course. We worked for Quentin in the sprint, but at the end it’s always very challenging with a mass sprint.”
Team Novo Nordisk Sport Director Pavel Cherkasov:
“There were some crosswinds today, but not enough to split the group. One break was let go after 30km and kept under control until 15km to go. Good team effort for Quentin in the bunch sprint. He needs to grow some more to be competitive for top 10. Otherwise everything is good.”
Team Novo Nordisk races all week in China at the Tour of Taihu Lake, then moves across to Japan for a pair of one-day races before finishing the 2017 season at China’s Tour of Hainan.
- Jakub Mareczko (Willier Trestina – Selle Italia) 1st : 2:40:49
- Nicolas Marini (Nippo – Vini Fantini) 2nd : st
- Andriy Kulyk (Kolls Cycling Team) 3rd : st
Team Novo Nordisk:
- Romain Gioux 26th : st
- Quentin Valognes 30th : st
- Charles Planet 44th : st
- David Lozano 61st : st
- Rik Van Ijzendorn 94th : st
- Chris Williams 95th : st
(Photos: ©Anne Wu)