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“Luckily I could make it back to the bunch behind my team-mate Marc Goos after I got dropped in the last hill. I come from sprinting in track cycling, so it’s never easy for me to climb. I’m not comfortable riding my bike...

MORENO HOFLAND

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TOUR OF HAINAN

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24.10.2013 @ 16:34 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Theo Bos continued his domination of the Tour of Hainan when he won his fourth stage in a row on today's fifth stage of the race. Having been dropped on the final climb before getting back on in time for the final climb, the fast sprinter knows that it will be difficult to keep his string alive in the next hillier stages.

 

The Tour of Hainan usually suits the sprinters and with Theo Bos being one of the fastest finishers in the world, it has come as no surprise that the Dutchman has dominated the race so far. Today he sprinted to his fourth win in a row and seems almost unstoppable in the Chinese race.

 

However, today's win was more difficult than the previous ones as Bos was dropped on the final climb before being transported back to the peloton by teammate Marc Goos. The fast sprinter was happy to have overcome his weakness to win a stage that always looked to be a difficult one for him.

 

“Luckily I could make it back to the bunch behind my team-mate Marc Goos after I got dropped in the last hill”, he said. “I come from sprinting in track cycling, so it’s never easy for me to climb. I’m not comfortable riding my bike uphill. It was a big challenge for me to survive a stage like today’s. We managed to get organized on time for a bunch sprint with the Ukrainian national team. We were the two strongest teams on the road.”

 

For the third time, overall leader Moreno Hofland managed to finish 2nd behind his teammate Bos as the young Dutchman was once again allowed to do his own sprint in the wake of his compatriot. As he also scored bonus seconds in the intermediate sprints, he extended his lead over Frederic Amorison (Crelan) to 43 seconds.

 

Tomorrow's stage has a category 2 climb just 15km from the finish and that may be a bit too much for Bos. Hence, Hofland may get the chance to go add to the account he opened up on the first day.

 

“Ukraine was very strong today”, he said. “But I didn’t get boxed in this time. Nobody could pass me on the left side, so I was second again and happy with that. Tomorrow it can be a different story. With more climbs on the course, it suits me better than today. I might be able to sprint for victory and not for second place. It would be nice, but my most important goal is to keep the yellow jersey and not lose any time.”

 

Sports director Michiel Elijzen shared the assessment that tomorrow may be a day for Hofland.

 

“There’s a climb 15 kilometres out and that’s going to be too difficult for Theo,” he said. “Moreno should be able to handle it, though. He’s one of the best climbers here. He's our best shot at a good GC and we’ll continue to help him. I have a lot of confidence in Moreno.” 

 

Belkin has won all 5 stages so far and appears to be in a class of its own. Nontheless, Elijzen refutes the claims that it is too easy for the squad which is the only ProTeam in the race.

 

“It isn’t as easy as it seems here, it's actually quite hard,” he said. "The boys have to control the race from start to finish. Today, Theo was dropped on a climb 25 kilometres from the line. Thanks to Marc Goos, he rejoined with the peloton in time. Marc really deserves a medal for all the work he’s done here.” 

 

He was full of praise for the race.

 

“The race is organised slightly different than one in Europe, and there’s still a lot that can be improved, but the organisers are really trying to make something out of this," he said. "Everything looks neat, the roads are good and the public turns up in large numbers every day. It's not Europe, but it can definitely go that direction in the future.” 

 

The Tour of Hainan ends on Monday.

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