Race: Tour of Hainan/ Stage 5
Distance: 192.9 kilometers
Overview: Friday’s Stage 5 of the Tour of Hainan saw the Team Novo Nordisk riders tackling a nearly 200-kilometer stage under rainy skies. The wet roads took their toll on the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team with several riders crashing as they raced towards Sanya. Fortunately all but one rider, Aaron Perry, was able to finish the day. The New Zealander crashed hard on the sleek roads and was unable to resume racing. On the final climb into Sanya, Astana upped the pace and the peloton splintered. A front group of 25 riders sprinted for the finish with Andrea Palini (Lampre-Merida) winning from the bunch. Andrea Peron finished as Team Novo Nordisk’s best-placed rider in 47th place, 3:09 behind Palini.
“Today’s stage was long and through torrential tropical rains. The rain really impacted everyone,” Team Novo Nordisk Sport Director Pavel Cherkasov said. “Eventually we lost count on how many flats and crashes occurred during the stage. Fortunately most of the crashed weren’t very dramatic, and our riders were able to continue.”
Results: Andrea Palini (Lampre-Merida) took the win followed by teammate Niccolo Bonifazio. Ruslan Tleubayev (Astana Pro Team) rounded out the podium.
Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team, continues racing at the Tour of Hainan on Saturday. The 182.1-km Stage 6 begins in Sanya and features three intermediate sprints before finishing in Dongfang.
(Photo: ©Anne Wu)