Mitch Docker Sprints to Second on Tour of Beijing Stage TwoMon 14 Oct 2013
Mitch Docker scored his first WorldTour podium in Yanqing, sprinting to third on the second stage of the Tour of Beijing. Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ.fr) emerged victorious in the fast frenzied field sprint besting Roberto Ferrari (Lampre-Merida) and Docker. The Frenchman moved into the red race leader’s jersey on countback ahead of Thor Hushovd (BMC)
“Michael [Matthews] had a problem with his back, so we decided to give Mitch the chance today,” said Sport Director Matt White. “Its good practice for these young guys to go through the process of a lead out in hectic conditions.”
Olivier Kaisen (Lotto Belisol) was the first rider to break clear from the bunch. He was joined up the road by Maxime Bouet (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Massimo Graziato (Lampre-Merida), Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Chad Beyer (Champion System). The quintet built up a maximum advantage of 4’30 as they reached the first intermediate sprint before BMC gave chase.
“BMC controlled the race today with very little help from anyone else,” said White. “This allowed us to concentrate solely on the finish. We made our move inside the last 2km.”
The cooperation in the escape group began to splinter in the build-up to the third and final intermediate sprint. Kaisen and Bouet remained out front as De Gendt, Beyer and Graziato gave chase. Bouet sat up after the intermediate sprint while Kaisen forged ahead alone. Eight kilometres from the finish, the BMC led peloton swept up the last man standing.
Argos-Shimano and ORICA-GreenEDGE fought their way toward the front in the build-up to the finale. When Jens Mouris found himself with an unexpected gap just beyond the flamme rouge, he committed to the solo move. The sprint trains overtook Mouris in the last dash for the line.
“The sprint was quite narrow so our guys had to make a move a little earlier than expected just to get out and have run at the finish,” explained White. “Jens railed the last corner, and a rider from Argos who had slotted into our train let the wheel go. Mitch slotted into the Argos train and did a great sprint, which netted him third place.”