Hennessy sprints to sixth and Niu Yikui moves back up to third overall in China

Wed 12 Sep 2018

Great work by Mitchelton-BikeExchange on stage five of the Tour of China saw British sprinter Jacob Hennessy take sixth on the day and Niu Yikui climb back up to third overall.

Stage five covered 127kilometres over six laps around Zhijiang within Yichang City in west of the Hubei province and was an attack filled stage.

Despite repeated breakaway attempts throughout, the peloton remained largely together with no move allowed much rope and always made up of only one or two riders.

Niu Yikui was well supported and active from the flag drop, targeting intermediate sprints at every opportunity and gaining enough points to move back into the lead of the best Asian rider category and up to third on the general classification.

The sprinters teams were in control most of the day and succeeded in bringing about the anticipated bunch kick with Hennessy aiming to lead out Niu Yikui but ending up in the better position and placing sixth.

Juan Seabstian Molano (Manzana-Postobon) of Colombia remains in the leader’s jersey with today’s stage won by Italian Marco Benfatto (Androni-Giocattoli-Sidermec) and only two more race days to come.

Sport director Dave Sanders:

“The teamwork from our guys was superb today. We’ve been building up to a display like this for a few days now and it’s really pleasing to see the guys working so well together.”

“Niu was keen to try and pick up as many sprint points as possible and made sure he was in the mix at every opportunity. We controlled our approach into the final really well and put together a great lead out, but a slight misunderstanding cost us and Jacob did well to place sixth.

“It’s not over yet, but we’re back up to third with two more stages to come and the guys feeling really good, working hard for each other and determined to achieve a podium finish.”

Tour of China stage five results:

1. Marco Benfatto (Androni-Giocattoli-Sidermec) 02:25:35

2. Jakub Mareczko (Willier-Triestina-Selle-Italia) ST

3. Manuel Penalver (Trevigiani-Phonix-Hemus) ST

6. Jacob Hennessy (Mitchelton-BikeExchange) ST

General classification after stage five:

1. Juan Seabstian Molano (Manzana-Postobon) 12:54:36

2. Jacopo Mosca (Willier-Triestina-Selle-Italia) +0:12

3. Niu Yikui (Mitchelton-BikeExchange) +0:14