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Zeits rode to a solo win in the Tour Hainan queen stage, keeping the chasing pair of El Fares and Mancebo at bay; Modolo limited his losses and defended the lead

Photo: Sirotti

ASTANA QAZAQSTAN TEAM

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FRANCISCO MANCEBO

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JULIEN EL FARES

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SACHA MODOLO

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TOUR OF HAINAN

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UAE TEAM EMIRATES

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27.10.2015 @ 16:48 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The long awaited queen stage of the tenth Tour of Hainan lived up to expectations with race favorite Andrey Zeits of Astana going clear to claim the first victory of his eight-year long professional career while Lampre-Merida’s Sacha Modolo paced himself to survive unscathed from the hills leading to Wuzhishan.

 

Soon after the gun, two riders managed to break clear. Oleksandr Polivoda (Ukraine) and Meng Yan (Hengxiang Cycling Team) attacked early in the 205-kilometer stage. Later they were joined by  Sergey Vlassenko (Vino 4ever), Zhang Zheng (Hengxiang Cycling Team) and Zhen Wang (Beijing Innova Cycling Team). Three category climbs and three intermediate sprints were ahead of them.

 

The leading group created a 6-minute gap. On the second ascent the escape broke apart and only Polivoda was able to stay in front. Polivoda’s chances of going all the way were very slim. With 60 kilometers remaining his lead was only 3 minutes. He got caught at the bottom of the last hill around 20 kilometers from the line after Astana dn Vino4ever had been chasing hard.

 

Andey Zeits rode away with 16km to go as he countered an acceleration by his young team mate Bakhtiar Kozhatayev. Another promising rider Valerio Conti followed the instructions from his Lampre-Merida team to not move away from Zeits’ wheel in the decisive hill. But the young Italian crashed in the downhill. He also caused a split that prevented chaser Julien El Farès of Marseille 13-KTM from coming across to the Kazakh leader. The Frenchman was joined by Francisco Mancebo (Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling Team – Al Ahli Club) and arrived at the finish just 2 seconds behind Zeits.

 

Further back, race leader Sacha Modolo dug deep and arrived with the second big group just 20 seconds back. That was enough for him to surprisingly defend the lead. Going into the last, flat stage of the race, he is 9 seconds ahead of Zeits and 12 ahead of El Fares.

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