Groves runs second amid chaotic scenes as crash disrupts finale on stage two in FuzhouThu 15 Nov 2018
The first sprint stage of the 2018 Tour of Fuzhou ended in chaos with a heavy crash splitting the bunch in the closing metres as Kaden Groves, managing to avoid the carnage showed his form with second place for Mitchelton-BikeExchange.
Close to 45kilometres were covered over an attack filled first hour of racing, but only one rider managed to gain a significant advantage on the peloton, Joey Van Rhee (Monkey-Town) had just over one-minute with 60kilometres still to race.
Team Hengxiang were parked on the front of the peloton for most of the stage, protecting race leader Lyu Xianjing. The attacks kept coming as more riders tried to clip off the front to link up with Van Rhee, but only two made it to form a trio with 40kilometres to go.
Crosswinds swirled across the coastline as the bunch lined out, less than a minute behind the three leaders and despite their efforts the trio could not stay together and only one rider was left out front at 40seconds going into the last ten kilometres.
All in for the sprint, the peloton ramped it up on the approach to the final with MBE working hard to keep Groves in contention and the field coming back together in the closing five kilometres.
The German national team took the peloton by the reigns in attempt to dominate the lead out with two kilometres to go and they never left the front.
As the sprint unfolded a nasty crash occurred in the second line of riders and totally disrupted the finish, Groves was just ahead of the crash and although boxed in still managed to finish second behind stage winner Leon Rohde (German- Cycling-Team).
“Team Hengxiang controlled the stage very well from the off today, in support of the yellow jersey and it was super-fast, typically wide Chinese roads so nobody was getting away in the final. “
“The boys helped me a lot in going into what was a sketchy final to position me near the front. I had to kick early but I was being held on the barrier and I had nowhere to go. On a positive note I had good legs today so that fills me with confidence to try again tomorrow in another possible sprint finish.”
Tour of Fuzhou stage two results:
1. Leon Rohde (German- Cycling-Team) 02:37:27
2. Kaden Groves (Mitchelton-BikeExchange) ST
3. Joey Van Rhee (Monkey-Town-Continental-Team) ST
General classification after stage two:
1. Lyu Xianjing (Hengxinag-Cycling-Team) 05:08:48
2. Ilya Davidenok (Beijing XDS-Innova-Cycling-Team) +0:04
3. Hanibal Tesfay (Eritrea) +0:06
13. Liu Jiankun (Mitchelton-BikeExchange) +1:19
Photos courtsey of WILDTO.