Second stage summit finish brings out the overall contenders in Quanzhou

Sat 10 Nov 2018

Following a fantastic start to the Tour of Quanzhou Bay with victory on the opening stage Mitchelton-BikeExchange produced another strong performance on stage two today with Liu Jiankun climbing with the favourites to finish within the top ten up Snow Mountain.

It was always going to be a difficult task for the Chinese outfit to retain possession of Kaden Groves blue leader’s jersey on today’s hilly stage and the Australian sprinter focused instead on trying to keep the green points jersey and helping Liu Jiankun into a good position to tackle the final climb.

After missing out on the first intermediate sprint, the stage one winner was left frustrated in his efforts to keep the green jersey as the breakaway established itself soon after the sprint and the both the points and leader’s jersey were set to change hands by the stage end.

With the objective now shifting to the climb up Snow Mountain it was left to Liu to ride aggressively and the 23-year-old didn’t disappoint. Attacking onto the climb once the earlier break had been caught, Liu’s action sparked a seven rider move that went on to contest the stage.

Last year’s overall winner Max Steadman (Canyon-Eisberg) again impressed, taking the stage win and with it the race lead. Liu rode well until end and crossed the line in sixth place and moved up to tenth on GC with one more day of racing to come tomorrow.

Liu Jiankun:

“Our plan for today’s stage was to keep Kaden’s green jersey and see how we went on the final climb.  At the first intermediate sprint we did a lead-out for Kaden, but with only five riders per team it was quite hard to control the peloton and we couldn’t keep the green jersey after the stage.”

“The last ten kilometres of the stage was hilly, with the final five kilometres completely uphill. I tried to attack with four kilometres to go and soon we formed a seven man leading group.

“With 400metres to go there were many attacks in the group. I did my last attack with 200metres to go, but the final 200metres was steeper than I expected. If I could’ve learned more about the route I could maybe have achieved a better result.”

Tour of Quanzhou Bay stage two results:

1. Max Steadman (Canyon-Eisberg) 02:37:17

2. Mykhailo Kononenko (Beijing-XDS-Innova-Cycling) +0:01

3. Ka Hoo Fung (HKSI-Pro-Cycling-Team) +0:01

6. Liu Jiankun (Mitchelton-BikeExchange) +0:11

General classification after stage two:

1. Max Steadman (Canyon-Eisberg) 04:16:57

2. Ka Hoo Fung (HKSI-Pro-Cycling-Team) +0;07

3. Marko Pavlic (H&R-Block-Pro-Cycling) +0:11

10. Liu Jiankun (Mitchelton-BikeExchange) +1:02