Kiwi James Oram was Mitchelton-BikeExchange’s top finisher in a punishing time trial on stage seven of the Tour of Qinghai Lake.
The 26-year-old powered his way around the 42-kilometre course in a time of 51’24” which was good enough for 23rd on the stage and sees him move up to 20th in the general classification, ahead of teammate Brayan Chaves.
The Colombian struggled on the largely flat TT course, eventually crossing the line 5’36” behind stage winner Benjamin Dyball (Team Sapura Cycling). The result means that Chaves falls to 25th in the overall standings.
Youngster Ran Hao put in a solid effort to finish 30th on the stage as attention now turns to tomorrow’s lengthy mountain.
Andrew Smith (Sports Director):
“It’s always difficult to know how the guys will react to a TT at 3000-metres, and it’s a new experience for most of them and after a week of racing. Chaves did a good TT for a rider of his stature, so it was sad to see him drop out of the top 20, but tomorrow it can all change again.”
“It’s good seeing Oram back in top 20. Our priorities now are to end the race as best the Asian Team. We currently lead that classification. Liu and Bieken are second and third best Asian riders. We want them to consolidate those positions and perform consistently, perhaps we can regain the lead there.”
Tour of Qinghai Lake Stage 7 Results:
1. Benjamin Dyball (Team Sapura Cycling) 48:46
2. Peter Koning (EvoPro Racing) +1:23
3. Walter Vargas (Medellin) +1:50
14. James Oram (Mitchelton-BikeExchange) +3:24
Tour of Qinghai Lake General Classification:
1. Robinson Chalapud (Medellin) 17:53:37
2. Óscar Sevilla (Medellin) +1:24
3. Walter Vargas (Medellin) +1:51
20. James Oram (Mitchelton-BikeExchange) +7:09