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Bos takes fifth win on 7th stage of Chinese stage race ahead of teammates Boom, Hofland and Leezer while Hofland extends his overall lead with just two stages remaining

Photo: Cor Vos

MORENO HOFLAND

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TOUR OF HAINAN

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26.10.2013 @ 13:31 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Belkin took their dominance in the Tour of Hainan to a whole new level on today's 7th stage of the Chinese stage race when the team captured the first four places in the bunch sprint. Theo Bos took his fifth win in the race ahead of teammates Lars Boom, Moreno Hofland and Tom Leezer while Hofland extended his overall lead to 59 seconds with just two stages remaining.

 

During the first 6 days of the Tour of Hainan, Belkin not only won all stages, they even captured the first 2 places on 4 different occasions. Today the team did even better when its riders finished in the first four places on the 7th stage of the race.

 

The stage contained the most difficult climb of the entire race as the top of a category 1 ascent was located at the 9,6km mark and the steep slopes put several sprinters in difficulty. One of them was Bos who found himself in a small gruppetto with few chances of getting back on.

 

When a lone rider escaped, the main group slowed completely down and this allowed Bos' group to rejoin the peloton and from there, the race developed into a classic sprint stage. More riders bridged across to the lone escapee but Belkin made sure to bring everything back together for another bunch sprint.

 

The Dutch team was in complete control when it strung things out inside the final kilometre and a late corner made for an unusual outcome of the sprint. The four Belkin riders entered the turn in the first four positions and the slightly downhill and very short finishing straight made it possible for them to keep those places all the way to the line.

 

With his third place, Hofland extended his lead over 2nd placed Frederic Amorison to 57 seconds. Tomorrow's penultimate stage is the final day with a few hills on the route as the riders will have to overcome three categorized climbs. The final one is located 33km from the finish and so some kind of sprint finish is once again expected.

 

A long stage

The 217,2km seventh stage had an unusual profile as it contained the only category 1 climb of the race inside the first 10km. Its descent was, however, followed by a almost 200km of flat roads which gave the sprinters plenty of time to get back on should they be put in difficulty on the ascent.

 

As expected, the pace was fierce on the climb as CCC strung things out in a quest to put Mateusz Taciak in the mountains jersey while Marc Goos rode hard for Belkin to try to keep things under control. Taciak fulfilled his mission as he crossed the line in first position ahead of teammate Nikolay Mihaylov and Darren Lapthorne (Drapac). As current leader, Vitaliy Buts (Ukraine) could only manage 6th, Taciak now has a 5-point lead in the competition with just two stages to go.

 

Bos is dropped

The peloton had split up on the climb and several groups had formed behind the main one. Bos' was in the gruppetto and his rival teams had a big chance to distance him for good. Belkin showed their domination in the first intermediate sprint  when its riders Jos Van Emden, Leezer and Boom picked up all the bonus seconds.

 

Moments later, a sole escapee was allowed to go up the road when Serhiy Langkoti (Ukraine) attacked. As no one had any intentions of a chase, the dropped riders all rejoined the peloton while Justin Jules (La Pomme Marseille) and Fabian Schnaidt (Champion System) took 2nd and 3rd in the second intermediate sprint. At the third intermediate sprint, the remaining bonus seconds were taken by Oleksandr Polivoda (Ukraine) and Kang Zhao.

 

More riders go on the attack

Langkoti was gradually reeled in but got a late reinforcement from Samir Jabrayilov (Synergy Baku) and Wu Shengjun (Qinghai Tanyoude). However, they were unable to keep the peloton at bay and with 17km to go, the front trio was caught.

 

Belkin took control and strung things out when they entered the final few kilometres of the stage. Leezer, Bom, Bos and Hofland entered the final turns in the first positions and took a fantastic 1-2-3-4 for the Dutch team.

 

Result:

1. Theo Bos 5.13.57

2. Lars Boom

3. Moreno Hofland

4. Tom Leezer

5. Yuri Metlushenko

6. Thomas Palmer

7. Yannick Martinez

8. Andris Smirnovs

9. Rico Rogers

10. Christophe Premont

 

General classification:

1. Moreno Hofland 25.48.16

2. Frederic Amorison +0.57

3. Tom Leezer +1.04

4. Fabian Schnaidt +1.08

5. Jos Van Emden

6. Kevin Peeters +1.09

7. Jose Goncalves +1.10

8. William Walker +1.11

9. Christopher Williams

10. Mykhaylo Kononenko +1.12

 

Points classification:

1. Moreno Hofland 111

2. Theo Bos 80

3. Yury Metlushenko 58

4. Lars Boom 56

5. Fabian Schnaidt 46

 

Mountains classification:

1. Mateusz Taciak 19

2. Vitaliy Buts 14

3. Michael Gogl 11

4. David Belda 10

5. Nikolay Mihaylov 10

 

Teams classification:

1. Belkin 77.28.13

2. Crelan-Euphony +0.34

3. Ukraine +0.49

4. Drapac

5. La Pomme Marseille +1.13

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