Latvia’s Maris Bogdanovics (Rietumu Bank) claimed stage 2 of the Tour of Fuzhou in a bunch gallop. He fended off Ukraine’s Andriy Kulyk (Kolss) and Australia’s Kaden Groves (St-George continental team). Mykhaylo Kononenko (Kolss) retained the lead in the overall ranking but didn’t increase it as he narrowly missed out on the bonuses by crossing the finish line in fourth place.
“This is my second win of the year in China [after stage 5 in the Tour of China II],” Bogdanovics told Cyclingnews prior to the award ceremony. “This is the last race ever for our team, so we’re going all in. We have a big motivation for doing well together one last time. I have a contract for next year with Amore e Vita but if a team is looking for lead out men, they can sign my teammates, they’re available and they do a great job.”
Stage 2 in Chang Le was a circuit race with an 18.2km lap to be covered six times. It was pan flat with a lot of wind but no echelon was formed as a five-man breakaway took shape with Filipino Mark Galedo (7-Eleven), Mongolia’s Bolor Erdene Enkhtaivan (Ningxia), Aiman Zariff (Terengganu TSG) from Malaysia, China’s Wang Jiancai (Qinghai Tianyoude) and Lu Shao Hsuan (Action) of Taiwan. They hardly got more than one-minute lead but as soon as they were caught by the peloton led by Kolss, the team of the race leade, Xue Fuwen of Mitchelton-Scott, the Orica-Scott feeder team, rode away by himself.
Galedo went again but remained in between, first accompanied by Qiao Yulei, a young track cyclist who is taking part in his first ever road race at the Tour of Fuzhou with China national team. It was all together with 5km to go. Latvian team Rietumu Bank set to fold after this race gave a perfect lead out to Bogdanovics who won by the length of a bike. It wasn’t the result Kulyk expected after finishing third in the last stage of the Tour of Hainan but Groves was pleased with his first ever podium at a UCI race at the age of only 18.
“We had a plan going in today and the boys stuck to it”, the Australian said. “Wwe attempted a lead out, I was probably left on my own a little bit too early but I made the most of it. I’m happy to run third.”
Stage 3 to Lianjiang People’s Square is designed for attackers ahead of the queen stage to Yun Ding on Saturday.
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