Jiankun Liu and James Oram came home inside the top-20 on the opening stage of the Tour of Fuzhou as small group gave the peloton the slip on the final climb.
The race winning move came as the Kazak duo of Ilya Davidenok (XDS) and Artur Fedosseyev (XDS) attacked on the final slopes with five kilometres remaining, with Oram unable to go with the numerous attacks on the climb up to Ku Liang.
Yikui Niu had initially made it into the break of the day as the peloton tackled the city circuits before the race moved into the countryside ahead of the decisive final climb. A strong team ride see’s Mitcheltton-BikeExchange head the Chinese team classification as well as sitting second overall in the team’s classification.
“It was a solid day out for the boys, nailing the team objectives, which was great to see! Niu made the break of the day, which stretched its advantage out to almost 2-minutes on the city circuits, and that will have put him a nice position in the run for the green jersey.”
“It also took the pressure off the rest of the team nicely, which meant we could set up for the final 10km climb to the finish in our best possible condition.”
“On the climb the group whittled down over the first 10 minutes. With the winning attack going an astonishing 5km to go. As the group splintered, I didn’t have the legs to follow, I could see Liu not far behind, so I eased to help him in the quest for the best Asian rider classification.”
“Hao Ran produced a great ride to finish only a handful of seconds behind our group, and with Bieken not far behind too, we now convincingly lead the Chinese team classification, and are sitting second on teams classification.”
Tour of Fuzhou Stage 1:
1. Ilya Davidenok (XDS) 2:35:52
2. Artur Fedosseyev (XDS) ST
3. Xianjing Lyu (HEN) +0:45
18. Jiankun Liu (Mitchelton-BikeExchange) +2:02