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"Because of that, I decided to attack downhill and the wet conditions had made the road slippery. Anyway we managed to escape from the bunch and get back onto the breakaway riders. Our group included Bonifazio, [Roberto] Ferrari and my...






24.10.2014 @ 13:08 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

In Sanya, Lampe-Merida delivered an amazing show, dominating the 5th stage of Tour of Hainan. Andrea Palini took the stage victory and the overall lead, Niccolo Bonifazio finished second and Palini retained his lead in the points classification.

The course of the stage was more demanding than the previous and this created a selection. At the top of the final climb with 27km to go, 10 riders had a gap, with Manuele Mori being one of them. In the descent and the flat final section, Palini, Bonifazio and Roberto Ferrari joined the front, forming a group of 22 riders that decided the stage in a sprint. Mori and Ferrari worked to support Palini and Bonifazio who made it a 1-2 in the rain.


"This victory is the result of my good condition, of my strong will and of a perfect support by the team, Palini explained. I did not give up on the climb, so I could get back to the front group. I still had energy left, I was feeling good and I was very happy that Ferrari and Mori were also in the front group. They were great in preparing the sprint for me and Bonifazio and I'm very happy I could win."


“Finally I managed to get my first win of the season even though it’s at the end of the season”, Palini added. “Winning is everyone’s goal. Thanks to the help of my team-mates, I’ve made it. In the hill [with 28km to go], a front group was formed by a dozen of people after an acceleration by Astana. Our GC rider Manuele Mori was up there and it looked like Belkin had no one. They probably thought they would bring it back. Because of that, I decided to attack downhill and the wet conditions had made the road slippery. Anyway we managed to escape from the bunch and get back onto the breakaway riders. Our group included Bonifazio, [Roberto] Ferrari and myself. We sprinted at perfection.”


“Astana put the hammer down in the climb”, Bonifazio echoed. “We took over for the final sprint. Mori pulled from 3km to 1km to go. Then Ferrari rode until 200m to go. I followed and at the very end, Palini passed me. Considering the time bonus already collected, it was easier that he’d take the yellow jersey.”

“The way we rode today shows the good shape and the team spirit we have”, Palini said. “I have the yellow jersey passed half way into the Tour of Hainan but I still see it difficult to win the overall classification. On stage 7, the hills remain a question mark for me and it’s going to be difficult to control the race every day so we’ll keep looking at getting the best result each day and hopefully it’ll bring us the maximum of satisfaction at the end.”



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