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Gaviria makes it four, Wellens wins inaugural Gree UCI WorldTour Tour of Guangxi(1)
date:2017-10-24 source: hits:

Colombia’s Fernando Gaviria of Quick-Step Floors claimed an impressive total of four stage victories out of six in the inaugural Gree UCI WorldTour Tour of Guangxi as he concluded the sprinting festival in style with one more triumph ahead of Italy’s Niccolo Bonifazio of Bahrain-Merida and stage 5 winner Dylan Groenewegen from LottoNL-Jumbo in a bunch gallop in Guilin. Belgium’s Tim Wellens of Lotto-Soudal became the first overall winner of the China’s WorldTour race while the newly elected UCI president David Lappartient was in attendance.

116 riders started the conclusive stage 6 in Guilin. Daniel Oss (BMC), wearing the green jersey of King of the Mountain, went for another attack, like he did almost every day since the race kicked off in Beihai. He was accompanied by Jon Irisarri (Caja Rural) and local hero Wang Meiyin (Bahrain-Merida) who was eventually declared as the most active rider for the second time in the inaugural Gree UCI WorldTour Tour of Guangxi. At the difference of the previous day when every early acceleration was followed by a reaction, the peloton gave the green light to the leading trio. At km 13, their advantage was already four minutes. The maximum was 4.35 at km 50.

LottoNL-Jumbo, Lotto-Soudal and Quick-Step Floors combined forced to reduce the gap at the head of the peloton. Andriy Grivko (Astana) launched a counter-attack in the hills. It helped the bunch to be timed only 1.45 behind the three escapees at the second KOM at km 126.9. Oss was then assured of winning the climbers’ competition. Wang continued the show with winning the last intermediate sprint. Oss and Wang forged to be reined in within the last ten kilometers of racing. LottoNL-Jumbo led the charge for Groenewegen with 3km to go but it was Julian Alaphilippe who stretched the bunch for Quick-Step Floors at the flamme rouge. One day after losing to Groenewegen, Gaviria fended off all his rivals with no mercy to brilliantly conclude his 2017 season.

With fourteen wins, Gaviria equals his team-mate Marcel Kittel as the most successful pro cyclist this year. For Wellens, the Gree UCI WorldTour Tour of Guangxi is his fourth WorldTour stage race overall victory in as many seasons as it comes after the Eneco Tour in 2014 and 2015 and the Tour de Pologne 2016. With seven wins in 2017, this trip to China makes it the most successful pro season of the 26 year old Belgian up to date.

Post race quotes

Stage 6 winner Fernando Gaviria: “I like to start a season with a victory but it’s just as nice to finish this season the way I’ve done it at the Gree UCI WorldTour Tour of Guangxi. Four victories here make it a great season. I’m really happy with how the Quick-Step Floors team helped me collecting those fourteen wins this year. It was a very fast finish today. Julian Alaphilippe rode hard at with 1km to go, Davide Martinelli took over from him. It was an excellent lead out. I’m very happy with the good job they did for me to win today. Four victories for my first time in China, it’s good. I’ll keep a great memory of my trip here.”

Overall winner Tim Wellens: “I’m very happy with winning the very first Gree UCI WorldTour Tour of Guangxi. It wasn’t easy. The hardest day was yesterday with a big fight in the climbs. Today, as a team, we had more luck because the breakaway was formed early. Then the team did a perfect job to bring safely to the finish. Gaviria won four stages, it’s very impressive but personally, I’m very happy with the GC. I’ll remember the beautiful landscapes and the excellent organization of the event. We also had a great atmosphere in the Lotto-Soudal team. We’ve definitely enjoyed our trip.”

King of the Mountain Daniel Oss: “It was nice to go away one last time this year. I wanted to have another good day on the bike and defend the King of the Mountain jersey. I was almost sure to win but at home they say almost means everything is missing. It’s been great fun to ride at the front again today [with Wang Meiyin and Jon Irisarri]. The whole week of racing here has been nice for my farewell to BMC after five fantastic

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