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Young Belkin rider escapes with Amorison from 15-rider breakaway, leaves his companion behind and takes a solo win on the first stage of the Tour of Hainan






20.10.2013 @ 18:01 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Moreno Hofland (Belkin) took his first professional win in the final race of his first season with Belkin when the young Dutchman triumphed in the first stage of the Tour of Hainan. Having made it into a 15-rider breakaway with two of his teammates, he attacked with Frederic Amorison (Crelan) before riding away solo to take both the win and the first leader's jersey in the race.


When Moreno Hofland finished 3rd on the final stage of the Tour of Beijing, the talented Belkin sprinter made it clear that he planned to take his first professional win in the final race of his maiden season, the Tour of Hainan. The Chinese race kicked off with a short 85,6km stage today and Hofland fulfilled his promise on the very first occasion.


Early in the race, he joined teammates Tom Leezer and Jos Van Emden in a 15-rider breakaway that built up a gap that was big enough for the escapees to decide the win. Belkin used their strength in number and sent Hofland up the road, the Dutchman being joined by Frederic Amorision.


The front duo worked well together and were set to battle it out for the win in the final kilometres. Hofland relied on his fast finish and showed his speed when he opened up a massive 6-second gap on the finishing straight. Leezer made it a good day for Belkin when he won the sprint for 3rd, 17 seconds behind Hofland, while Theo Bos finished the Belkin domination by triumphing in the peloton's sprint for 16th.


With the win, Hofland is also the first leader of the race and takes a 16-second gap over Amorison into tomorrow's 175km second stage from Chengmai to Haikou. The 9-stage race finishes on October 28.


A short opener

The 8th edition of the Tour of Hainan, one of the biggest races on Chinese soil, kicked off with a 85,6km stage in Chengmai that started in the old town and finished in the city centre. Being mostly flat, the stage was expected to finish in a bunch sprint.


Several riders had, however, different plans and the race was off to a fast start with several attacks. When the race finally settled, a big 15-rider group had gone clear and was allowed to build up a gap.


A dangerous group

The group was made up of Kevin Peeters (Crelan-Euphony), William Walker (Drapac), Darren Lapthorne (Drapac), Connor McConvey (Synergy Baku), Moreno Hofland (Belkin), Tom Leezer (Belkin), Jos Van Emden (Belkin), Fabian Schnaidt (Champion System), Frederic Amorison (Crelan-Euphony), Jose Goncalves (La Pomme Marseille), Adrian Honkisz (CCC), Mykhailo Kononenko (Ukraine), Chris Williams (Novo Nordisk), Volodymyr Zagorodniy (Ukraine) and Dario Hernandez (Burgos BH) and so most of the big teams were represented in the break. This made it increasingly likely that the stage winner would be one of the escapees.


The breakaway riders battled it out for bonus seconds in the two intermediate sprints and Belkin showed its domination by claiming the first three spots on both occasions. The team also had things under control when the break had built up a gap that allowed it to contest the win and attacks started to get launched.


With 7km to go, Hofland and Amorison escaped and those  two riders worked well together to keep their former companions at bay. When they entered the finishing straight, Hofland showed his talents as a sprinter by relegating Amorison to 2nd. Leezer won the sprint for 3rd 17 seconds behind Hofland while Bos was first across the line from the peloton 45 seconds behind the stage winner.



1. Moreno Hofland 1.46.36

2. Frederic Amorison +0.06

3. Tom Leezer +0.17

4. Fabian Schnaidt

5. Mykhaylo Kononenko

6. Adrian Hinkisz

7. Kevin Peeters

8. Jos Van Emden

9. William Walker

10. Jose Goncalves


General classification:

1. Moreno Hofland 1.46.20

2. Frederic Amorison +0.16

3. Tom Leezer +0.26

4. Jos Van Emden +0.30

5. Fabian Schnaidt +0.33

6. Mykhaylo Kononenko

7. Adrian Hinkisz

8. Kevin Peeters

9. William Walker

10. Jose Goncalves


Points classification:

1. Moreno Hofland 26

2. Tom Leezer 17

3. Frederic Amorison 14

4. Jos Van Emden 12

5. Fabian Schnaidt 12


Teams classification:

1. Belkin 5.20.22

2. Crelan-Euphony +0.34

3. Drapac +0.49

4. Ukraine

5. La Pomme Marseille +1.13



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