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Belkin team takes control in bunch sprint finish and delivers Bos to his first win since June while Hofland does his own sprint and takes second to increase his overall lead

Photo: Cor Vos

MORENO HOFLAND

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TEAM VISMA | LEASE A BIKE

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TOUR OF HAINAN

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YANNICK MARTINEZ

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21.10.2013 @ 15:39 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Theo Bos and Moreno Hofland continued the Belkin domination in the Tour of Hainan when the duo finished first and second on the flat second stage of the race. Having already taken seconds in the first two intermediate sprints, Hofland added more bonus seconds at the finish line and so increased his overall lead.

 

Since Theo Bos was prevented from starting the Vuelta a Espana due to low cortisol levels, the Dutch sprinter has worked hard to get back on track. Today he finally succeeded in his mission when he took his first win since the incident when he crossed the line first on the second stage of the Tour of Hainan.

 

It was a splendid day for Belkin who continued the dominated they had shown on day one. Yesterday's winner and overall leader Moreno Hofland was allowed to do his own sprint and took 2nd behind his teammate Bos. As he had already finished in the top 2 in the first two intermediate sprints, he had already extended his overall lead prior to the sprint and his 2nd place finish was enough to increase it further to 27 seconds over 2nd placed Frederic Amorison (Crelan).

 

Hofland takes his lead into tomorrow's 3rd stage which is another mostly flat affair.  The stage is 148,8km stage from Haikou to Qionghai offers the Belkin train another chance to show that they are the strongest team in the 9-day race which ends next Monday.

 

A flat stage

The 174,5km second stage brought the riders from yesterday's start in Chengmai to Haikou and was held on a mostly flat course. A bunch sprint was expected on the second day in the race which is usually dominated by sprinters.

 

The race was off to a really aggressive start and it took a long time for the early break to be established. As a result, the peloton was still together when they reached the site of the first intermediate sprint  at the 30,3km mark. Hofland showed his intentions of winning the race overall by beating teammate Lars Boom and William Walker (Drapac) in the battle for the bonus seconds.

 

A break gets clear

At the 46,7km mark, it was time for the second intermediate sprint and the peloton was still together at that point. This time Hofland had to settle for second as he was beaten by Fabian Schnaidt (Champion System) while Walker was once again 3rd.

 

After 52km of racing, a break finally slipped clear when Chris Williams (Novo Nordisk), Elchin Asadov (Synergy Baku) and Hong Kong national champion Cheong King Wai opened up a gap and after 100km, they were three minutes ahead of the main group. However, Belkin always kept things under control and the break never had a realistic chance of staying away. Asadov was the first to get dropped which allowed the peloton to sprint for 3rd place in the third intermediate sprint with Kevin Peeters (Crelan) picking up the lone bonus second on offer.

 

Things got back together in time for a final bunch sprint and Belkin lined things up in preparation for Bos. Hofland was allowed to sit on the back of his team's star sprinter to do his own sprint and that proved to be a winning formula for the Dutch team. Bos took a convincing win while Hofland held off Yannick Martinez (La Pomme Marseille) to make it a 1-2 for Belkin.

 

Result:

1. Theo Bos 4.16.56

2. Moreno Hofland

3. Yannick Martinez

4. Lars Boom

5. Yuri Metlushenko

6. Fabian Schnaidt

7. Justin Jules

8. Kevin Peeters

9. Rico Rogers

10. Andris Smirnovs

 

General classification:

1. Moreno Hofland 6.03.05

2. Frederic Amorison +0.27

3. Tom Leezer +0.37

4. Fabian Schnaidt +0.41

5. Jos Van Emden

6. Christopher Williams

7. William Walker +0.42

8. Kevin Peeters +0.43

9. Dario Hernandez +0.44

10. Adrian Honkisz

 

Points classification:

1. Moreno Hofland 48

2. Fabian Schnaidt 27

3. Kevin Peeters 18

4. Tom Leezer 17

5. Theo Bos 16

 

Teams classification:

1. Belkin 18.11.10

2. Crelan-Euphony +0.34

3. Drapac +0.49

4. Ukraine

5. La Pomme Marseille +1.13

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