The breakaway claimed the day on a tricky stage four of the Tour of China as Ran Hao held onto the white jersey despite crashing.
It was another circuit race facing the peloton on stage four and although the course looked simple on paper, overnight rain caused problems for the bunch. A large crash on the opening lap claimed Hao and teammates Jiankun Liu and Wenhui Bi, but all three were able to get back going again.
The crash made for a nervous peloton and the breakaway were able to stretch their advantage over the field. Despite an increase in pace from the chasing pack, the break held them off to contest the victory with Jeroen Meijers (Taiyuan Miogee Cycling Team) taking the two-up sprint.
Hao rolled home safely in the bunch to conserve his lead in the best Chinese rider classification heading into the final two days of the opening half of the race.
“The route of today’s stage was flat but very tricky. There were three steel bridges on the lap around a lake and yesterday’s rain made them super slippery. Right at the first bridge in the first lap there was a big crash, and I was brought down together with Bi Wenhui and Liu Jiankun.”
“Fortunately, none of us were seriously injured. The peloton decided to slow down every time they cross the bridge to avoid more crashes, and that gave the breakaway riders a chance to win the stage. In the final laps the peloton started to chase hard, but it was too late.”
Tour of China 1 Stage 4 Results:
1. Jeroen Meijers (Taiyuan Miogee Cycling Team) 3:29:12
2. Yauhen Sobal (Minsk Cycling Club) ST
41. Nazaerbieke Bieken (Mitchelton-BikeExchange) +0:34
Tour of China 1 General Classification after Stage 4:
1. Jeroen Meijers (Taiyuan Miogee Cycling Team) 8:53:36
2. Yauhen Sobal (Minsk Cycling Club) +0:16
29. Ran Hao (Mitchelton-BikeExchange) +0:52