2012 Tour of China I Stage 6: Wuhan – Wuhan

Tyler Magner of BMC Hincapie-Sportswear Development Team looked as surprised as anyone when he took his first big stage win in the UCI elite ranks today. Formerly a stagiaire with Team Type 1, the 21-year old led a trifecta of fellow young-guns across the line to conclude a stage finish shrouded in a fog of questionable marshalling.

Note: Cycling iQ is not on-site in China. The below report and images have been provided by the Tour of China organising committee. Some spell-checking has been applied, but the report has otherwise been left “as is” for authenticity.]

Images: Tour of China & Sonoko Tanaka

The last race of the Tour of China was run today through the streets of Wuhan and it was an exhilarating day. The race covered may have only covered ninety kilometers of winding roads but there was no lack of action. The stage was run through the most scenic areas the tour has seen so far and featured one last KOM and intermediate sprint. The spectators at the finish line witnessed another thrilling sprint for victory.

The race set off on time, under cloudy skies but without the drizzle the riders have had to face for much of the tour. The conditions were slightly windy but this hasn’t slowed the riders on other days and today was no exception. After less than four kilometers a group of five riders broke away from the field and formed a group. At first the break looked doomed because they couldn’t get more than thirty seconds away from the peleton. Eventually, the peleton gave up chasing hard and allowed the group to gain an advantage of nearly two minutes.

The high pace of the break caused one rider to get shot out of the front pack, leaving Valery Valynin (RusVelo), Anatoliy Pakhtusov (ISD-Lampre Continental Team), Johnathan Fumeaux (TeamAtlas-Personal Jakroo) and Ilya Davidenok (Continental Team Astana) to try to keep the pack at bay. They all took turns pulling so they took the KOM and intermediate sprint whilst denying other riders the valuable points. The leaders were cheered on by people who lined almost the entire race route. The group managed to stay away until about ten kilometers before the line, at which point the group swallowed them up and prepared for a sprint finish.

The finishing straight was wide open so it should have been one for the teams with the strong lead out trains. However, there was a tricky corner about 1.5 kilometers from the finish which made a mess of the lead out men’s plans. Tyler Magner from BMC-Hincapie Sportswear Development Team jumped out of the corner and opened up a gap of several meters on the field. The lead out men quickly regrouped and chased hard to catch Magner. It looked like they were going to catch him but at the line it was Magner who edged out Jack Bekinsdale (Australia National Team) and Maksym Vasilyev (ISD-Lampre Continental Team) for the win.

This being the final day, the jerseys were given out for the final time. Martin Pedersen (Team Christina Watches-Onfone) kept the yellow jersey, which he held from the second stage. Alexander Serebryakov (Team Type 1-Sanofi) won the blue jersey as the sprint competition winner and Matija Kvasina won the polka dot jersey as the tour’s best climber. Pengda Jiao from Champion System Pro Cycling Team took the white jersey for the best Chinese rider from his teammate Xu Gang. This stage concluded the Tour of China 1, but the Tour of China 2 will start on September 18th so there is more great racing to come from China.

In addition to the official Tour of China race reports, I also highly recommend checking out the blogs and images of participating teams from around the globe. My sincere apologies if I left out any teams. The below-listed sites are simply the most up-to-date and visible. I’d love to hear from any other teams/riders that are keeping Tour of China blogs.

Aisan Racing Team (Japanese)
Andalucia (Spanish)
Champion System Pro Cycling (English)
Nutrixxion Abus (German and English)
Rabobank Continental (Dutch)
Rusvelo (English)
Team Type 1 – Sanofi (English)

Individual General Classification (Yellow jersey): Martin Pedersen (Christina Watches – Onfone)
Points Classification (Blue jersey): Alexander Serebryakov (Team Type 1 – Sanofi)
King of the Mountains Classification (Polka Dot jersey): Matija Kvasina (Tusnad Cycling Team)
Best Great China Rider Classification (White jersey): Pengda Jiao (Champion System Pro Cycling Team)
Teams General Classification: Christina Watches – Onfone