Niu Yikui up to third overall after stage two in ChinaSun 9 Sep 2018
A hilly second stage at the Tour of China saw Niu Yikui take tenth place for Mitchelton-BikeExchange and move up to third on the general classification.
Covering 140kilometres and packed with solid climbs and technical descents it was a parcours that suited an early breakaway and unsurprisingly a compact move went clear over the opening kilometres.
Splitting repeatedly over the relentless climbs, it was down to great work from Harry Sweeny and Jacob Hennessy that kept Niu Yikui in a good positon as the put the turns in to keep contact with the front half of the peloton.
As the leaders were brought back within the stage’s final third it was the Colombian’s who yet again showed their prowess in the mountains with Manzana-Postobon not only setting the tempo, but also going on to take the stage win with Juan Sebastian Molano.
With three riders within the leading group, Niu Yikui cold rely on support going into the final and duly placed tenth on the stage and moving up third overall with five stages remaining.
Sport director Dave Sanders:
“It was a solid performance from the guys today, Bi Wenhui, Harry and Jacob were all exceptional and Harry in particular brought Niu back into contact up the long drag to the line and rode impressively throughout.”
“Niu showed a lot of heart today. He wasn’t super comfortable on the climbs but fought his way back into the group every time he slipped back and went deep to stay the course when other GC riders were fading.
“Another tough day awaits us tomorrow and we will do our best to survive early on and then try to play some cards depending on the situation going into the final.”
Tour of China stage two results:
1. Juan Sebastian Molano (Manzana-Postobon) 03:24:57
2. Chen Mingrun (Hengxiang-Cycling-Team) ST
3. Sergio Higuita (Manzana-Postobon) ST
10. Niu Yikui (Mitchelton-BikeExchange) ST
General classification after stage two:
1. Juan Sebastian Molano (Manzana-Postobon) 05:11:35
2. Chen Mingrun (Hengxiang-Cycling-Team) +0:04
3. Niu Yikui (Mitchelton-BikeExchange) ST