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.
Thanks to Alizadeh’s inspirational performance, Tabriz Petrochemical Team will leave China with almost every major prize in the bag. With the exception of the green points jersey – won by quintuple stage winner Luka Mezgec of Slovenia’s SAVA Team – Tabriz outclassed 21 teams, seven of them higher-ranked ProContinental squads, enroute to a clean-sweep of all other classifications.
After a featureless start to its first season, China’s Champion System Pro Cycling team also finished the race with plenty to smile about. Champion System’s Cam Wurf began today’s 78 kilometre criterium in third place on GC, 11″ behind Alizadeh, and only 2″ adrift of second-placed Giovanni Baez (EPM-UNE). Wurf narrowly missed out on securing bonus time on the first intermediate sprint, but got a “killer leadout”, according to Director Sportif Ed Beamon, by his Chinese teammates to secure second place in the second and final intermediate sprint. This was enough to secure 2nd overall and, in turn, strengthen Champion System’s status on home turf.
A combination of the high altitude, crashes, and overall average speed of 44.46kph, saw 20% of the original 154 starters fail to complete this year’s race; and only 7 of the 22 teams were left with all of their riders by the end. Two months will pass before Tabriz returns to China – for September’s UCI2.1 Tour of China, which this year is split into two separate races – but the on-form squad can first look forward to the UCI2.2 Kerman Tour and Milad De Nour Tour (both in Iran) which will take place next month.
FINAL CLASSIFICATION LEADERS
Leaders (Yellow) Jersey (黄衫): Hossein Alizadeh (Tabriz Petrochemical Team)
Points (Green) Jersey (绿衫): Luka Mezgec (SAVA)
King of the Mountains Jersey (圆点衫): Hossein Alizadeh (Tabriz Petrochemical Team)
Best Asian Rider (Blue) Jersey (蓝衫): Hossein Alizadeh (Tabriz Petrochemical Team)
Best Team: Tabriz Petrochemical Team
Best Asian Team: Tabriz Petrochemical Team
STAGE 13 RESULTS
FINAL GENERAL CLASSIFICATION