Hennessy chases to be up there in the sprint on stage five in Qinghai

Thu 26 Jul 2018

Briton Jacob Hennessy battled through the bunch to contest the sprint on stage five of the Tour of Qinghai Lake in China today, with Mitchelton-BikeExchange caught a little off guard going into the final.

The longest stage of this year’s race began directly with a climb out of Longyangxia before heading 235kilometres to Bird Island.

A breakaway quartet formed almost immediately and after 50kilometres of racing had over five minutes on the peloton, a lead that they held past the halfway point.

Once a concerted effort from the bunch combined with some flagging breakaway legs the gap began to reduce, falling below three minutes with 70kilometres to go and continuing to drop with the catch made inside the final 60kilometres.

Further splits occurred ahead of the final with Australians Harry Sweeny and Kaden Groves protecting Hennessy from the wind until around 20kilometres to go when they were caught a little too far back as the front of the peloton accelerated.

Mounting a strong chase Hennessy made it back on but had spent valuable energy and despite a strong effort, was too far back to contest the first placings in the sprint and finished within the top ten with Cameron Scott (Australian-Cycling-Academy) taking the win.

Jacob Hennessy:

“It was a really long stage today and it started ok, we were in the main group over the two early climbs and I looked after myself really well over those tough early kilometres. After that, Harry and Kaden did an amazing job of looking after me and keeping me out of the wind.”

“After the race came back together we got caught out a little, we were sat towards the back with 20kilometres to go, talking about the sprint and decided to gamble sitting back and trying to repeat stage two. However, Delko-Marseille nailed it in the gutter and we ended up isolated.

“I managed to drive full gas and bridge the gap which was around ten seconds and then Kaden’s group came back, and we did our best. I was out of position and caught slightly off guard when they launched and managed to come up and around a fair few, but I really wanted the win as I was feeling good and to repay the team for all their help.

“We still have opportunities to try and get that stage win and we are all remaining positive and motivated to achieve that.”

Tour of Qinghai Lake stage five results:

1. Cameron Scott (Australian-Cycling-Academy) 05:51:46

2. Eduard Grosu (Nippo-Vini-Fantini-Europa-Ovini) ST

3. Sairhei Papok (Minsk-Cycling-Club) ST

10. Jacob Hennessy (Mitchelton-BikeExchange) ST