2012 Tour of Qinghai Lake | Stage 6: Xihaizhen Mole

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.

Video: QQride.com
Official images: Mike Murano Cycling Asia (also on Twitter)

With the exception of a brief visit to 4,000 metres in Saturday s eighth stage, the remaining days of the Tour will take place at more reasonable altitudes, potentially giving Mezgec s rivals a little more room to breath (literally and figuratively speaking). Faces that would normally be visible at the head of a bunch sprint such as Andrea Guardini s have been noticeably absent, chiefly due to the thin air of Asia s highest bicycle race . Regardless, Mezgec is still the strongest sprinter in the race by definition and he holds a commanding lead in the points classification to prove it.

Tabriz Petrochemical Team s Alizadeh Hossein retains his 11? advantage over Javier Ramirez (Andalucia) in the individual general classification, with Champion System s Cameron Wurf a second adrift of Ramirez. A short transfer to the northwest sees the peloton arrive into Qilian for Thursday s stage; a 104 kilometre circuit race that probably won t result in a new race leader, but might provide a better platform for Mezgec s peers.


Andrea Guardini (Farnese Vini Selle Italia), 129th in stage 6, 16th on GC
For me these days are a little bit hard. Because of the altitude, I m not so good but from tomorrow there are some more stages for me, so I try to win. Yesterday was a bad day because (it was a) long stage, there is a little bit of wind and the finale is not so easy. (There was a) crash at the last 300 metres and I don t make a sprint, but I want to try (to win) tomorrow.

Check out the stage six video highlights on QQride.com and more of Mike s images at the Official Tour of Qinghai Lake photo gallery.

Click on image to jump to the stage 6 highlights video at QQride.com

CLASSIFICATION LEADERS AFTER STAGE SIX Leaders (Yellow) Jersey (??): Hossein Alizadeh (Tabriz Petrochemical Team) Points (Green) Jersey (??): Luka Mezgec (SAVA) King of the Mountains Jersey (???): Hossein Alizadeh (Tabriz Petrochemical Team)

Best Asian Rider (Blue) Jersey (??): Hossein Alizadeh (Tabriz Petrochemical Team)