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Race leader Hofland emerges as the strongest in the uphill sprint and extends his overall lead while teammate Boom finishes 2nd to make it four 1-2s for Belkin in 6 days of racing

MORENO HOFLAND

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TOUR OF HAINAN

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25.10.2013 @ 13:23 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

No one is getting even close to Belkin in the Tour of Hainan as the Dutch team continued its domination on today's sixth stage when it took the sixth win a row. For the fourth time, the team occupied the first two positions as race leader Moreno Hofland beat teammate Lars Boom in a tough uphill sprint and so extended his overall lead.

 

The Tour of Hainan has completely turned into a Tour de Belkin as the team has taken it all in the five stages of the race. Today the team continued its domination when stage 1 winner and overall leader Moreno Hofland added a second win to his tally by beating teammate Lars Boom in the sprint.

 

With Theo Bos having won four stages in a row, Belkin's rivals were hopeful that a climb 15km from the finish would be enough to send the fast Dutchman out the back and so give them a better shot at the stage win. As expected, the climbing proved to be too tough for the Belkin sprinter but in his absence, the team's other riders were ready to strike.

 

Once again the team took control in the final kilometres and race leader Hofland proved that he is a very fast sprinter in his own right. Having had to settle for 2nd behind Bos on three stages so far, he finally got the chance to sprint for the win and he paid back his teammates' hard work with his second win in the race and his second win since turning professional at the start of the year. Teammate Boom was the final rider to lead him out and the classics specialist held on to take 2nd, thus adding to his string of results that already include two 4th places on stages 2 and 3.

 

With the win Hofland extends his overall lead over Frederic Amorison (Crelan) to 53 seconds with just three stages remaining. The first of those comes tomorrow, is 217,2km long and contains the only category 1 climb already at the 9,6km mark. After a short descent, the roads are, however, completely flat and another bunch sprint could be on the cards in Hainan.

 

A short stage

At 115,6km, the sixth stage was a short affair but it was also the most difficult of the entire race. Two category 2 climbs were set to test the riders' legs and as the final of those was located just 15km from the finish, the pure sprinters were expected to get into difficulty.

 

Due to the short length, the stage was raced at a very fast pace and numerous attacks were launched in the first part of the stage. However, Belkin was also on top of things and made sure that no dangerous move got too much of a gap.

 

A duo sets off

Finally, Marek Rutkiewicz (CCC) and Clement Saint-Martin (La Pomme Marseille) opened up an advantage but Belkin kept the pace high throughout the entire stage. Even before, they reached top of the first climb at the 60,2km mark, the break was swallowed up by the bunch which allowed Mateusz Taciak (CCC) to beat Volodymyr Zagorodnyi (Ukraine), Nikolay Mihaylov (CCC) and Michael Gogl (KTM) in the battle for the points. In the first intermediate sprint, Maksym Averin (Ukraine) beat teammate Mykhailo Kononenko and Jose Goncalves (La Pomme Marseille) and Goncalves continued his success when he won the second intermediate sprint a little later. Pengda Jiao (Champion System) finished 2nd ahead of Kanstantsin Klimiankou (Atlas) to get closer to Liu Yilin (Hengxiang) in the Asian riders' competiton.

 

On the final climb, several attacks were launched and the fierce pace was too much for Bos who was one of the riders to get dropped. His teammate Dennis Van Winder tried to pace him back but the fast Dutchman never rejoined the peloton.

 

David Belda (Burgos), Chris Butler (Champin System) and Klimiankou were the first riders across the line at the top while Gogl beat KOM leader Vitaliy Buts (Ukraine) in the battle for fourth to get closer to the lead in the mountains competition. However, no one managed to escape and so all was once again set for a sprint decision. Hofland was perfectly delivered to the line by Boom and took his second win of his professional career to extend his overall lead.

 

Result:

1. Moreno Hofland 2.36.43

2. Lars Boom

3. Christoph Schweizer

4. Boris Shpilevsky

5. Rico Rogers

6. Maksym Averin

7. Bartlomiej Matysiak

8. Kevin Peeters

9. Andriy Vasylyuk

10. Thomas Palmer

 

General classification:

1. Moreno Hofland 20.34.23

2. Frederic Amorison +0.53

3. Tom Leezer +1.02

4. Fabian Schnaidt +1.05

5. Kevin Peeters

6. Jose Goncalves +1.06

7. William Walker +0.57

8. Christopher Williams

9. Jos Van Emden

10. Mykhaylo Kononenko +1.08

 

Points classification:

1. Moreno Hofland 98

2. Theo Bos 64

3. Yury Metlushenko 47

4. Fabian Schnaidt 44

5. Boris Shpilevsky 42

 

Mountains classification:

1. Vitaliy Buts 13

2. Michael Gogl 11

3. Mateusz Taciak 10

4. Floris Goesinnen 7

5. David Belda 7

 

Teams classification:

1. Belkin 61.46.22

2. Crelan-Euphony +0.34

3. Ukraine +0.49

4. Drapac

5. La Pomme Marseille +1.13

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