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Fast Dutchman avoids two late crashes to win the final bunch sprint in Hainan and secure Belkin their 9th win in 9 stages while young Moreno Hofland seals his overall win

Photo: Tour of Hainan 2013

MORENO HOFLAND

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TOUR OF HAINAN

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28.10.2013 @ 11:08 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Belkin finished their complete domination of the Tour of Hainan when Theo Bos won the bunch sprint that ended the final stage of the 9-day race. The Dutchman avoided two late crashes and held off Rico Rogers (Synergy Baku) in the final dash to the line while Moreno Hofland finished safely in the bunch to seal his overall win in the race he has led from the very beginning.

 

A couple of days ago, Belkin started to speak publicly about their ambition of winning all 9 stages in the Tour of Hainan. Today the team accomplished their mission when Theo Bos won the final bunch sprint of the race  - and so took his 6th win in the event - while Moreno Hofland secured the overall win.

 

As usual Belkin was in complete control when the peloton sped towards the finish line in the bunch sprint that was the forecasted outcome of the mostly flat stage. With the overall win already locked up, Hofland was working as the final lead-out man for Bos for the first time in the race but the Belkin train almost had their plans crushed by a big crash that brought down team riders Jos Van Emden and Tom Leezer 500m from the line.

 

Hofland and Bos managed to avoid the carnage and Bos was still well-placed to start his sprint inside the final few hundred metres. Despite a problem with his chain, Bos had built up enough speed to hold off Rico Rogers and Michael Kurth (Quantec) to increase his tally to 6th.

 

Hofland crossed the line in 11th and so sealed the overall win in the race. He took the jersey by winning the first stage from a breakaway and has increased his lead by adding bonus seconds on several stages since the opening day. He finishes the race with an advantage of 1.07 over 2nd placed Frederic Amorison (Crelan) while Leezer completes the podium. With Van Emden finishing 4th and Lars Boom taking 12th, the Dutch team placed 4 riders in the top 12 on GC.

 

With the Tour of Hainan having come to a close, Belkin has ended its season and all ProTeams have now finished their racing activities for this year. Racing in China resumes on Saturday when the 2.1 Tour of Taihu kicks off.

 

A flat stage

The Tour of Hainan was brought to a close with a 148km stage from Danzhou to Chengmai. As it was mostly flat, it was expected to suit the sprinters and so bring  a fitting end to a race that is usually dominated by the fast finishers.

 

After some initial attacks, Fuyu Li (Hengxiang) and Nikolay Mihaylov (CCC) managed to escape at the 7km mark and the duo took most of the bonus seconds at the first intermediate sprint after 34km of racing. Behind, Maksym Averin (Ukraine) beat his rivals to take the final second on offer.

 

Asadov bridges across

Elchin Asadov (Synergy Baku) set off in pursuit and he managed to bridge across to the leaders. The three escapees swallowed up the bonus seconds in the final two intermediate sprints but never got a big gap over the peloton.

 

Behind, Belkin had taken control as the Dutch team was intent on completing the clean sweep that had now become one of their main objectives. They managed to neutralize the escape with 10km to go and from there, the sprint trains battled for position.

 

Belkin had lined out their train on the front when disaster struck. A crash brought down both Leezer and Van Emden 500m from the line but Hofland and Boom managed to stay upright. Hofland led his teammate out and despite a chain problem, he had no trouble taking his 6th win in the race. Behind the triumphant Dutchman, another crash brought down Tom Palmer (Drapac), Andreas Müller and Benedikt Kendler (both from KTM) while the battled for the minor positions on a stage that was once again completely dominated by Belkin.

 

Result:

1. Theo Bos 3.37.01

2. Rico Rogers

3. Michael Kurth

4. Andreas Müller

5. Kevin Peeters

6. Thomas Palmer

7. Andris Smirnovs

8. Mykhaylo Kononenko

9. Justin Jules

10. Yuri Metlushenko

 

General classification:

1. Moreno Hofland 33.44.00

2. Frederic Amorison +1.07

3. Tom Leezer +1.14

4. Jos Van Emden +1.17

5. William Walker +1.21

6. Mykhaylo Kononenko +1.22

7. Adrian Honkisz +1.24

8. Dario Hernandez +1.31

9. Volodymyr Zagorodniy +1.35

10. Darren Lapthorne

 

Points classification:

1. Moreno Hofland 132

2. Theo Bos 96

3. Lars Boom 69

4. Yury Metlushenko 64

5. Rico Rogers 57

 

Mountains classification:

1. Mateusz Taciak 23

2. Vitaliy Buts 18

3. Andriy Vasylyuk 17

4. David Belda 12

5. Nikolay Mihaylov 11

 

Teams classification:

1. Belkin 101.16.02

2. Crelan-Euphony +0.27

3. Ukraine +0.42

4. CCC Polsat +1.06

5. Burgos +1.20

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