Top twenty for Stannard on stage two of the Tour of HainanSun 29 Oct 2017
Talented young Australian all rounder Robert Stannard showed his sprinting skills on today’s long second stage of the Tour of Hainan in China with a top twenty finish for Mitchelton-SCOTT.
The races longest stage at 230kilometres started with intent as numerous attacks tried to form the breakaway over the early kilometres, eventually a five man move went up the road and gained five minutes before being caught with 75kilometres still to race.
Bringing the race back together early left the chance for another attack and this time three riders looked like they might just make it stick. Holding two minutes going into the closing 20kilometres the sprinters teams had to work hard to make contact and only doing so under the flame rouge.
After a close call the final was hectic and a mass sprint unfolded with the favourite Jakub Mareczko (Willier-Selle-Italia) hitting out early to take the win and Stannard finishing strongly in 13th.
“It unfolded much as anticipated today,” said sport director Neil Stephens. “We knew the breakaway’s would go early and most of the team’s would be happy about that. There was a slight tailwind in the last 20kilometres and it made for a fast and interesting final.”
“The finish was definitely one for the pure sprinters, pan flat on wide roads and we are happy with result. Rob and the boys did very well to be up there and get into a good position but I think tomorrow’s final will suit him better with a slight ramp up to the line.”
Tour of Hainan stage two results:
1. Jakub Mareczko (Willier-Selle-Italia) 05:28:24
2. Martin Laas (Delko-Marseille-Provence-KTM) ST
3. Dylan Page (Switzerland) ST
13. Robert Stannard (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST
Photos courtesy of the Tour of Hainan