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Gree-Tour of Guangxi. Stage 5. Astana riders active at the climb, but yet another sprint finish

At the penultimate stage of the Gree-Tour of Guangxi, the Astana riders tried to force something on the final climb, but in the end, there was another sprint finish. This time Matteo Trentin was the fastest sprinter of a reduced group, that first had to chase down Andriy Grivko who tried to go clear in the final. Gianni Moscon remains the GC leader, Sergei Chernetskii is still third overall. There’s only one day of racing left in China and in the 2018 season, as it is the final race of the year.

- It’s good that we showed ourselves today. With four of our riders in the first sixteen places of the GC, we wanted to try something on the final climb. But it was hard to open up a gap, only some sprinters got dropped. In the final, we tried to surprise the bunch with an attack of Andriy Grivko, but in the end, we still had a bunch sprint. Maybe Hugo Houle could have done something in this sprint, but he had an unlucky crash. It’s good to see that the whole team is still motivated in this final race of the season, our first place in the team classification after yesterday’s queen stage says enough about that. With one stage to go, we have Sergei Chernetskii on the GC podium, a great performance of him and the team. – sports director Dmitriy Fofonov.

It was the longest day for the riders, as they had to race 212.2 kilometers from Liuzhou to Guilin. A group of four riders took off shortly after the official start was given, but just before the final climb of the day (1st cat.), everything was back together. At this climb, the Astana riders started to pull at the front of the peloton, trying to shake things up in the overall. Some sprinters got dropped, including Riccardo Minali, but all the GC contenders were back together after the fast descent. In the final kilometers, it was Andriy Grivko trying to surprise the reduced peloton, but he got caught shortly after he launched his attack. In the hectic sprint, Hugo Houle crashed into the barriers, but without any serious injuries. Matteo Trentin took the victory, Gianni Moscon stays in the GC lead.

Tomorrow the start and finish are in the city of Guilin, a 169.9-kilometer-long race with just two categorized climbs, more than 40 kilometers before the finish line. It looks like another day for the sprinters, just like last year. 

 

Photo credit: Bettiniphoto

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