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 “The standard of organization is higher than what I’ve seen in China before. Safety for the riders is perfect. Accommodation is good. Logistic works fine even though it’s a different system than what we’re used...

Photo: Sirotti


26.10.2015 @ 06:00 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Taking part in the Tour of Hainan for the first time, the Trek Factory Racing team showcases the national colors of the United States of America with the presence in the bunch of national champion Matthew Busche. Aged 30, the former NCAA champion for cross-country is making his last appearance with his current team before transferring to Unitedhealthcare.


 “I didn’t know I’d come here until ten days before the race”, Busche said on the start line of stage 4 in Haikou. “I enjoy the good weather and the big roads. It’s almost like the US. I lost some time [25 seconds] on stage 1, they gave us a time gap, I don’t know if it’s real, anyway, this is my last race of the year and I want to stay safe. I’ll support my team-mates. Fabio [Silvestre, third on stage 1] has done well so far. On stage 8, we’ll really go for it.”


Sports director Adriano Baffi admitted he would have preferred to travel to Hainan with one of the team’s top sprinters Giacomo Nizzolo or Danny van Poppel. “Unfortunately, our entry to this race is a bit of a last minute decision”, he said. “But we came here with three young riders [trainees Leonardo Basso, Julien Bernard and Szymon Rekita] who are good climbers. They have a great morale and motivation and Silvestre who is looking for a team for next year, which is a pity because he’s a good rider. He already made the podium here once and wore the green jersey. We might not be able to win the Tour of Hainan overall but let’s see how we go on stage 8.”


Baffi, 53, is a former pro cyclist and an experienced coach with a reputation of nurturing talents. Cycling has taken him all around the globe. “The Tour of Hainan is a better race than I expected”, he stated. “The standard of organization is higher than what I’ve seen in China before. Safety for the riders is perfect. Accommodation is good. Logistic works fine even though it’s a different system than what we’re used to in Europe where we travel on a more independent mode. I’m impressed with what I see here.”



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