Stannard sprints into the top ten in stage eight in HainanSat 4 Nov 2017
Talented young Australian Robert Stannard finished strongly on today’s penultimate stage at the Tour of Hainan, sprinting into tenth place across another flat and wide finale that favoured the pure sprinters.
Mitchelton-SCOTT teammate Jai Hindley was apart of the first split of the race as the peloton hit a first category climb in the early kilometres with Hindley driving the pace within a large leading group of around 30riders.
The peloton deemed the attack too dangerous to let go and brought it back a few kilometres later before a smaller second group went clear near the halfway point.
Hindley did not sit still, remaining constantly active as he looked for opportunities to get ahead. Finally taking the chance and bridging across to the front group with around 60kilometres to go.
With a long flat run towards the finish the Hindley group were always up against it and the catch was made within the closing kilometres before another fast bunch sprint decided the stage.
Marco Zanotti (Monkey-Town) took the win with Stannard doing brilliantly to be up there for tenth place after a late mechanical held him up. Hindley is now in 14th overall and only one second off the top ten.
“The boys were great today,” said sport director Dave Sanders. “They really had a go at trying to move up and we raced on the front foot from the flag drop. Jai is really close to moving into the top ten overall and we were looking to get him into as many moves as possible today to gain some bonus time from the intermediate sprints.”
“It’s a shame that the first move couldn’t gain more time, but then he did brilliantly to jump across to the last attack from a reduced chase group on a category two climb.
“That break got caught just before the finish so it was up to Rob to try and get a result and after suffering a puncture inside ten kilometres to go he did fantastically well to chase back on and still run tenth.”
Tour of Hainan stage eight results:
1. Marco Zanotti (Monkey-Town) 04:57:47
2. Marco Maronese (Bardiani-CSF) ST
3. Emils Liepins (Delko-Marseille-Provence-KTM) ST
10. Robert Stannard (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST
Tour of Hainan general classification after stage eight:
1. Jacopo Mosca (Willier-Selle-Italia) 33:10:10
2. Benjamin Prades (Team-UKYO) +0:03
3. Marco Zanotti (Monkey-Town) +0:07
14. Jai Hindley (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:21
Photos courtesy of Tour of Hainan