Groves sprints to victory and into the leader’s jersey on stage one in Quanzhou Bay

Fri 9 Nov 2018

Australian sprinter Kaden Groves returned to racing with a bang for Mitchelton-BikeExchange today, sprinting to a convincing win on the opening stage of the three-day Tour of Quanzhou Bay in China.

In his first appearance since the Tour of China II back in September, 19-year-old Groves showed no signs of wanting for form on the short and explosive 80kilometre stage.

Slipping into a breakaway move ahead of the second intermediate sprint, Groves sat on as the group swelled to 21-riders and played the tactical game, doing enough to maintain his position as the group built up a steady advantage on the peloton whilst conserving energy for the coming sprint.

Carrying around 30seconds into the final, Groves showed both power and confidence, timing his effort perfectly and sprinting to the win ahead of two Dutchmen Roy Eefting (Memil-CCN) and Ivar Slik (Monkey-Town) to secure his second victory for the team after winning the final stage of the Tour of Qinghai Lake in August.

Today’s win sees Groves move into the race lead with tomorrow’s stage two all set to be a day for the overall contenders, with the standout climb of the race coming right at the end of 109kilometres and a summit finish on Snow Mountain in Chengxiang – a first category ascent over eight kilometres at an average of 6%.

Kaden Groves:

Today’s race was super-fast and on the typically wide Chinese three lane highways, I knew it would be hard for a move to stick on this kind of course, but it did and that was a pleasant surprise.”

“I was chasing the intermediate sprints, but in doing so that put me at the front of the race and after 50kilometres the group expanded, and we established a breakaway.

“Although we never had an advantage greater than 40seconds it was enough to hold off the bunch. I was confident I could win the stage and I knew what I had to do, it’s great to get the win.

“Tomorrow doesn’t suit me but I will respect the leader’s jersey as best I can and ride to the best of my ability. The summit finish at the end of tomorrow’s stage makes it a climber’s tour.”

Tour of Quanzhou Bay stage one results:

1. Kaden Groves (Mitchelton-BikeExchange) 01:39:50

2. Roy Eefting (Memil-CCN-Pro-Cycling) ST

3. Ivar Slik (Monkey-Town-Continental-Team) ST

General Classification after stage one:

1. Kaden Groves (Mitchelton-BikeExchange) 01:39:50

2. Roy Eefting (Memil-CCN-Pro-Cycling)

3. Ivar Slik (Monkey-Town-Continental-Team)