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“I went up the road to take points for the green jersey. With 35km to go we still had two-and-a-half minutes on the peloton and I started to believe I could be in with a chance."

Photo: Sirotti






29.10.2014 @ 11:14 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Wouter Wippert ended the season for Drapac in the best possible way when he won the final stage of the Tour of Hainan. Having originally attacked to score points for the points competition, the Dutchman was surprise to stay away to the finish.


Wouter Wippert has closed out the 2014 season in style for Drapac Professional Cycling, sprinting to victory from the day-long breakaway at the ninth and final stage of the Tour of Hainan, China.


Wippert outsprinted fellow escapees Adrian Kurek (CCC Polstat Polkowice) and Taras Voropayev (Vino 4ever) at the end of the 165.7km stage with the peloton right on their tail in what was a nail-biting finish.


For the Drapac sprinter, the result was a satisfying reward having finished on the podium on three occasions throughout the Tour of Hainan.


“I went up the road to take points for the green jersey,” Wippert explained. “With 35km to go we still had two-and-a-half minutes on the peloton and I started to believe I could be in with a chance."


"Firstly, I was racing for third place in the points classification", he added. "I needed to score more points so instead of waiting for the final sprint, I decided to go away before the first intermediate sprint. We [the top 3 riders on the finishing line plus Ho Burr from Hong Kong] almost got caught after that but someone stopped pulling the bunch and we stayed away. I heard we only had 20 seconds lead with 2km to go but we kept going. The Kazak rider attacked 500 metres from the line. I was the second guy to follow and I sprinted with 250 metres to go. "


"I came back for the Tour of China and the Tour of Hainan", the Dutchman said. "It feels so good to win the last race of the season. There's good racing in Asia. It's different from Europe but it's not easy at all to win. I had signed with [Australian Pro Continental team] Drapac for two years and I'm happy to stay with the team next year. Hopefully, we'll come back to the Tour of Hainan. "


The victory moved Wippert up to second place in the points classification, 24 points behind multiple stage winner Niccolo Bonifazio.


For Drapac Directeur Sportif Henk Vogels, it was a case of mission accomplished with the squad figuring on five of the nine podiums, with Jonathan Cantwell runner-up on Monday, on top of Wippert’s strong result in the points classification.


“There’s three WorldTour teams here and we’ve gone toe-to-toe with them most days in the finales,” he said.“I’m really happy with the results, it’s not been easy given we have only had four riders over the last few days. It’s a really nice way to end what’s been a long international season.”



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