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“In first place, I intended to have a quiet day in the bunch. I’ve missed out on that one! I went on the attack and found myself in a front group of three riders."

Photo: Sirotti






23.10.2014 @ 13:42 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Julien Antomarchi surprised himself when he won stage 4 of the Tour of Hainan and took the leader's jersey in the nine-day race. The Frenchman had planned to have an easy day and didn't expect to play a key role on the stage.


On the hunt for a contract for next year, Frenchman Julien Antomarchi of La Pomme Marseille brilliantly rode to a solo victory he captured by one second over the chasing peloton in Xinglong (literally: Prosperity in Chinese). His very courageous effort under the pouring rain also awarded him the yellow jersey of the Tour of Hainan after stage 4.


“In first place, I intended to have a quiet day in the bunch”, Antomarchi explained. “I’ve missed out on that one! I went on the attack and found myself in a front group of three riders. [with Federico Butto of Burgos BH and Oleksandr Surtukovych from Synergy Baku Cycling Project] We didn’t get much of an advantage at the beginning so we were wondering if it was worth carrying on. At the first intermediate sprint, we had three or four minutes lead, which was not enough but it went up to eight. With 40km to go, we accelerated. The Baku rider punctured, we couldn’t afford to wait for him, then the Italian struggled in a little climb so I was left by myself for the last 25km. I gave everything and I preserved a very little advantage on the line. I’m very happy to get the stage win and the yellow jersey.”


Antomarchi found glory in his second participation to the Tour of Hainan. “The race is improving”, the 30 year old mentioned. “In 2011, there was only one Pro Team, Astana, now there are three. The level of the race has increased, so has the level of the Chinese riders. It makes it a beautiful race and a beautiful victory for me. I didn’t know where I was at in terms of condition as I crashed in Paris-Tours before coming here. Logically, I should lose the yellow jersey tomorrow through the time bonus but the overall classification remains widely open.”



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