Mitchelton-BikeExchange were active throughout the fourth stage of the Tour of Fuzhou as the day came down to a reduced sprint finale into Lianjiang.
The stage featured two categorised climbs on the 106.8km route, but it was the final non-categorised climb that came with 10km to go that saw most of the action as several teams launched attacks on the slopes.
The attacks saw the front of the race reduce in number with Jiankun Liu, James Oram and Brayan Chaves making it into the front split of around 30 riders for Mitchelton-BikeExchange.
It was Rory Townsend (DHB) who taking timed his sprint to take his second stage victory, while Liu got up for 12th to finish as the day’s top Chinese rider and moves up to 15th overall.
The team also maintain their lead in the best Chinese team classification as well holding onto second in the overall team’s classification heading into tomorrow’s stage five in Fuqing.
“It was a short but nervous stage today, with many attacks on the final climb 10km from the finish, just as what we expected. I was riding together with James Oram in the first big group, knowing there might be a good chance for us to move further up on GC today.
“Also, in the second group Yikui Niu chased very hard to control the time gap and make sure we keep our lead on the Chinese team’s classification.”
Tour of Fuzhou Stage 4:
1. Rory Townsend (DHB) 2:28:13
2. Ivan Smirnow (RUS) ST
3. Carlos Quintero (NLC)
12. Jiankun Liu (Mitchelton-BikeExchange) ST
Tour of Fuzhou GC:
1. Ilya Davidenok (XDS) 10:23:42
2. Artur Fedosseyev (XDS) +0:04
3. Carlos Quintero (NLC) +0:51
15. Jiankun Liu (Mitchelton-BikeExchange) +2:12