Having held off his rivals for ten straight days, Iran’s Hossein Alizadeh clinched the title of 2012 Tour of Qinghai Lake winner by the slimmest of margins. After 1,854 kilometres of racing, only nine seconds separated Alizadeh from Cam Wurf, who rode brilliantly to leap past Giovanni Baez into second place.
Stage 12’s profile didn’t fully support the notion that a pure sprinter like Andrea Guardini could win; the Italian even had his own doubts if he could place highly. So when Guardini rounded the last corner of the race’s longest stage in a near-complete field of 108 riders, the odds of his third stage win … Continue reading
Luka Mezgec bagged his fourth win of this year’s Tour of Qinghai Lake today, cementing his status as the race’s most consistent sprinter. With two stages remaining, the Slovenian has every chance to match, or even better, Australian Alan Davis’ five stage haul in 2007.
Andrea Guardini is well on the way to his third hat-trick of stage wins his year, after taking out today’s 191 kilometre tenth stage. The day’s category three climb caused no challenges to the four jersey wearers, although race leader Hossein Alizadeh was joined by a familiar face on the presentation podium.
He’s back! Clearly benefiting from the drop in altitude, Farnese Vini – Selle Italia’s Andrea Guardini burst from the peloton to win stage nine by a clear margin in the final bunch sprint. Better yet, the pocket-sized Italian still has several opportunities to repeat today’s success in the days ahead.
Several high-profile fast men have spent the better part of the last week flopping hopelessly about in an oxygen-starved state, as the high altitudes of Tour of Qinghai Lake have exacted their toll. Fortunately, the Parcours God took pity and tossed the big fish back into the water.
We have a new winner! Team Type 1-Sanofi’s Aldo Ino Ilesic led a trio of fresh faces onto the podium, after decisively winning today’s seventh stage. Triple stage-winner Luka Mezgec may have only taken a minor placing in the 104 kilometre circuit race, but his green points jersey remains secure.
What do Luka Mezgec’s rivals have to do to beat the speedster from Slovenia? Mezgec comfortably took his third stage win and fourth podium of the race, capping off a short stage which reached the race’s highest point at 3,869 metres. It’s all downhill from here.
After three mountainous stage, today’s long but topographically-moderate parcours produced a mass sprint, from which Andalucia’s Juan José Lobato claimed his first stage win in Asia. Race leader Hossein Alizadeh retained his slim general classification advantage over Lobato’s teammate, Javier Ramirez, with Champion System’s Cameron Wurf oh-so-close behind.
Sava’s Luka Mezgec lived up to the promise inferred by the green jersey on his shoulders, with his second stage win so far in this year’s race. Mezgec’s victory was even more impressive given it came by way of a Hors Categorie summit which topped out at 3,816 metres elevation.