Another Bunch Sprint on Rain-Soaked Day of Racing in China17. October 2018, Qinzhou (CHN) — Road Team
Jürgen Roelandts, BMC Racing Team’s sprinter at the Tour of Guangxi, was once again in the mix sprinting to another top-15 finish after a chaotic finale in tough weather conditions
Victory came down to a dampened bunch sprint for the line on day two at the Tour of Guangxi following another controlled effort from the peloton over the course of the 145.2-kilometer stage from Beihai to Qinzhou.
After a couple of early moves were pulled back in the opening kilometers of the race, a group of five riders went clear and began to build up an advantage over the main bunch, which was where BMC Racing Team sat.
With rain bouncing off the roads, the peloton didn’t want to take any risks by letting the leaders get too far up the road and kept the gap to within two minutes over the opening half of the race.
The gap to the four remaining riders was down to just one minute as the main bunch crossed the finish line to start the first of two laps of an 18.5-kilometer circuit around Qinzhou and the final rider was ultimately caught with just four kilometers to go.
In the chaotic final two kilometers of the rain-soaked stage, which saw Richie Porte stop racing, Roelandts was well-placed in the wheel of the eventual stage winner, Pascal Ackermann (BORA-hansgrohe). However he lost his position as the sprint was launched and the final battle began, ultimately finishing 14th on the line.
Quotes From the Finish Line:
“It was meant to be a bunch sprint and we saw that the control was there to make that happen. There wasn’t much for the peloton to do today. We were always on straight roads with no crosswinds and then we hit the local circuits. There were some nerves in the final five kilometers when everything came back together.”
“I think we would have seen exactly the same stage play out without the rain but it would definitely have been nicer for everyone. There was maybe a little more risk in the sprint but the finish was on a wide road so that helped. It got a little messy with two kilometers to go but that’s normal and we had lots of space to move.”
“I was once again around the top ten to 15 positions and I think I could have done an even better sprint if the cards had fallen that way. I was well-positioned in the wheel of Ackermann actually. It was a bit of a pity that I wasn’t able to do a proper sprint again as I think if I was, I would have been closer to Ackermann.”
Sports Director, Jackson Stewart:
“I think the stage unfolded how we expected it would, even without the heavy rain, before the bunch sprint and in that sense it was a relatively straightforward day. The weather definitely made it a difficult day for everyone in the peloton though. No, he didn’t say anything really. We didn’t plan on Richie stopping and of course, it’s now not ideal to be down to five riders but we will continue to push on and see what we can get olut of the next four stages.”
Tour of Guangxi
Stage 2: Beihai > Qinzhou, 145.2km
Top 3: 1. Pascal Ackermann (BORA-hansgrohe) 2.Fabio Jakobsen (Quick-Step Floors) 3. Dylan Groenewegen (TeamLotto-NLJumbo)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 14. Jürgen Roelandts 46. Stefan Küng 83. Nathan Van Hooydonck