Stage win and second in points class for Mitchelton-BikeExchange as Quanzhou Bay draws to a close

Sun 11 Nov 2018

A positive three days of racing concluded for Mitchelton-BikeExchange at the second Tour of Quanzhou Bay in China today with stage one winner Kaden Groves coming close in the points competition.

The Chinese outfit began the short, but explosively fast stage with intent, positioning Groves towards the front going into the first intermediate sprint with the 19-year-old taking third place to keep his hopes alive in the green jersey competition.

On a day that covered only 81.4kilometres, positioning was always going to be key to stand any chance of a result and the team worked hard to keep Groves towards the front, but in the end, it wasn’t to be.

Dutchman Roy Eefting (Memil-CCN) took his second stage win and with it the points jersey, despite the efforts of Groves and the team, the Australian finished outside the top ten but goes away satisfied after an impressive win on stage one.

Liu Jiankun finished ninth overall after his impressive performance on stage two’s summit finish on Snow Mountain and placed second in the Greater China classification with Briton Max Stedman (Canyon-Eisberg) sealing victory in the general classification for the second year running.

After three days of strong and consistent performances the team now look towards their next objective at next week’s Tour of Fuzhou, where they return as defending champions after Jai Hindley's win in 2017.

Kaden Groves:

I felt like I had good legs today as I scored third and second in the two intermediate sprints while keeping something left in the tank for the finish.”

“It was a technical right hand turn with 300metres to go, I was out of position but I’m happy the team stayed out of trouble to finish safely.  The boys did a great job considering the tough ride yesterday pulling on the front for majority of the stage.

“Second in the points classification was all I could manage to wrap up the three days but I’m happy to have delivered a stage win.  It’s ended up being a positive week for us leading into the Tour of Fuzhou where we will attempt to back up last year’s tour win.

“Liu and Sam Jenner suit the GC really well and I am looking forward to the opportunity to repay their efforts in suoporting me all season.”

Tour of Quanzhou Bay stage three results:

1. Roy Eefting (Memil-CCN-Pro-Cycling) 01:44:22

2. Andrii Kulyk (Beijing-XDXS-Innova) ST

3. Ivar Slik (Monkey-Town-Continetal-Team) ST

19. Niu Yikui (Mitchelton-BikeExchange) ST

Final General classification:

1. Max Stedman (Canyon-Eisberg) 06:01:19

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

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

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

Photos courtesy of WILDTO.