Mitchelton-SCOTT bide their time in anticipation of the mountainsTue 31 Oct 2017
Another day for the sprinters played out as expected on stage four of the Tour of Hainan with Chinese/Australian outfit Mitchelton-SCOTT maintaining focus on the later mountain stages.
Coming in at close to 200kilometres the fourth day of racing followed the template of the preceding race days as a quartet formed the early breakaway and subsequently stayed out front until less than five kilometres to go.
The sprinters teams were focused and utterly dominant with race leader Jakub Mareczko (Willier-Selle-Italia) claiming his third stage victory of the race and sustaining a 20second advantage in the overall standings.
Robert Stannard was the team’s best finisher in 36th place with teammates Sam Jenner and Jai Hindley close behind and looking ahead to the hillier day’s and the GC battles to come.
“We knew beforehand that these first five or six stages would be all about the pure sprinters,” said sport director Dave Sanders. “Nevertheless the guys have ridden a very controlled race so far and maintained position well, giving us a solid platform for the mountains on stage seven.”
“It was another fast and hectic stage today, windy conditions and the race splitting and coming back together much like stage three.
“The final was a downhill sprint to the line and the pace was high on the approach right up until the bunch launched themselves. Rob, Sam and Jai all stayed up near the front and we finished with no problems.”
Tour of Hainan stage four results:
1. Jakub Mareczko (Willier-Selle-Italia) 04:24:23
2. Martin Laas (Delko-Marseille-Provence-KTM) ST
3. Anthony Giacoppo (IsoWhey-Sports) ST
36. Robert Stannard (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST
Photos courtesy of Tour of Hainan