The second stage of the Tour of Fuzhou came down to a hunch sprint in Hongguang Lake Park with Yikui Niu sprinting to a top-20 finish.
Stage two saw the peloton lap around a picturesque park with a breakaway forming early in the day. Mitchelton-BikeExchange were content to sit tucked away in the bunch until the escapees were caught on the final lap and Ran Hao and Brayan Chaves tried their luck as several teams tried to split the race.
However, with the wind not blowing in the right direction nothing stuck, and the peloton headed towards a bunch kick. Rory Townsend (Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes) proved to be the fastest in the run to the line and took the win while Niu looked to stay safe and crossed the line in 20th.
“After yesterday’s stage we are leading the best Chinese team’s classification with a good margin. With our first goal achieved we turned our focus on stage results in the flat stages.”
“Today the strong crosswind made the race extremely hard. Several breakaway groups formed during the race, but none of them could build a big advantage due to the fast pace of the peloton. In the final sprint I was not taking any risk, but a top 20 result could give me more confidence to attack again in the next few days.”
Tour of Fuzhou Stage 2:
1. Rory Townsend (DHB) 2:42:08
2. Blake Quick (STG) ST
3. Charles Page (DHB) ST
20. Yikui Niu (Mitchelton-BikeExchange) ST