- I’m very happy with this result because it was a very hard day and the team worked very hard to get me in the right position for the final climb. I tried to hold on at the first group, but just in the final kilometer, I got dropped. Too bad, but I can be satisfied with this day. In the end, the overall classification is not done yet after today. –Sergei Chernetskii.
The first and maybe final test for the riders who aim for the general classification at the Gree-Tour of Guangxi, as the race would finish at the Mashan Nongla Scenic Spot after a brutal final climb. The riders took off in Nanning for the 152.2 kilometers, and after several attempts, a breakaway of two riders got clear from. But as expected, it all came down to the final climb of three kilometers long, as the final rider of the break got caught at the bottom of the climb.
With the hardest part right at the start of the climb, the pack reduced quickly. In just a few kilometers, a select group of three riders was left, including Sergei Chernetskii. But it was Gianni Moscon who was the strongest climber of the day, as the other two were not able to stay in his wheel. At the summit finish, it was Moscon taking the stage victory and the overall lead. Felix Grosschartner finished second and in the end, Chernetskii took the third place. But just fifteen seconds behind the winner, it was Luis Leon Sanchez finishing sixth and close behind him Davide Villella took the ninth spot at the stage.
In the overall classification, the stage top three took over the virtual GC podium of the Gree-Tour of Guangxi. Luis Leon Sanchez is the other Astana rider in the top 10, at an eighth place.
Tomorrow will be the longest day for the riders, as they will race 212.2 kilometers from Liuzhou to Guilin. Three climbs (one 3rdcategory and two 2ndcategory) will be climbed in the final part of the stage, but there’s still more than 30 kilometers to go for the finish, which makes it likely to be a bunch sprint finish.
Photo credit: Bettiniphoto