Race: Tour of China II, Stage 4
Start/Finish: Chenzhou/Zixing, China
Distance: 136.3 kilometers
Zixing, China — Thursday’s 136.3-kilometer Stage 4 of the Tour of China II saw a 35-km flat start followed by three categorized climbs before a flat finish into Zixing.
Team Novo Nordisk was active from the start with James Glasspool getting into the first breakaway. The chasing peloton increased its pace to reel in the break by the first climb, which caused the main group to splinter. Team Novo Nordisk’s Chris Williams and Brian Kamstra made the front group with Stephen Clancy in the first chase group. The 23-year-old Irishman wanted to defend his top 20 overall standing, so with the help of teammate Gerd de Keijzer and the rest of the chase, they bridged up to the front group before the sprint finish. Mattia Gavazzi (Amore & Vita-Selle SMP) took his second win of the race and remains the overall race leader. Clancy finished as Team Novo Nordisk’s best-placed rider in 26th place and remains 19th overall, 32 seconds behind Gavazzi.
“Our goal was to be active in the beginning and anticipate the action over the two climbs,” Team Novo Nordisk Sport Director Pavel Cherkasov said. “There was a lot of chasing trying to reconnect all the groups. Stephen and Gerd’s group was able to join the first group, and then they tried to take on the sprint finish.”
Results: Mattia Gavazzi (Amore & Vita-Selle SMP) sprinted to the win ahead of Johim Ariesen (Netherlands National Team) and Nicolas Marini (Nippo-Vini Fantini).
Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team, resumes racing at the Tour of China II on Saturday with Stage 5. The 146.7-km day features two large laps around Qingyuan. Also on Saturday, another squad will race at the 35.65-km Japan Cup Criterium in Utsunomiya, Japan.