Race: Tour of Taihu Lake, Stage 5
Start/Finish: Chishanhu Lake State Wetlands Park/Maoshan Mountain, China
Distance: 130.6 kilometers
Maoshan Mountain, China — Team Novo Nordisk’s Martijn Verschoor moved to 13th overall at the Tour of Taihu Lake after solid climbing on the hilliest stage of the nine-day race.
Wednesday’s Stage 5 of the Tour of Hainan saw the riders tackle a wet and technical 130.6-kilometer course that began in the Chishanhu Lake State Wetlands Park. Four riders escaped from the start. As the race hit several climbs, the peloton splintered into multiple groups. Verschoor made the front group that eventually caught all the escapees. Heading into the finish on Maoshan Mountain, seven riders attacked the front. They held off the chase and finished 17 seconds ahead of Verschoor’s group. Marco Zanotti (Parkhotel Valkenburg CT) sprinted to the win from the breakaway with Verschoor finishing 13th. The strong finish moved Verschoor from 18th overall into 13th position, 30 seconds behind race leader Jakub Mareckzo (Southeast).
“As the group approached the climbs on the second part of the stage, the course became very technical and split the race. There were lots of crashes today,” Team Novo Nordisk Sport Director Pavel Cherkasov said. “Gerd (de Keijzer) and Brian (Kamstra) initially made the front group with Martijn. Gerd was the first to drop off, but that was to plan because he is keeping in mind the later sprint stages where he can help Martijn. Brian was the last to drop from that group, and he looked strong.”
Results: Marco Zanotti (Parkhotel Valkenburg CT) took the win ahead of Andrea Palini (Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling Team) and Thomas Rabou (Attaque Team Gusto).
Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team, continues racing at the Tour of Taihu Lake on Thursday. The 123.3-km stage features eight laps around Yixing Yangxian before a downhill finish.