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Gianni Moscon powers to victory in queen stage
date:2018-10-19 source: hits:

Hot favourite Gianni Moscon of Team Sky met the expectations as he rode away in the uphill finish to Nongla to claim a solo victory that makes him the new leader of the Gree Tour of Guangxi ahead of Austria’s Felix Grossschartner from Bora-Hansgrohe and Russia’s Sergeï Chernetskiy from Astana. The Italian is in a good position to succeed Tim Wellens on the record book of China’s WorldTour bike race.

 

I’m very happy”, Moscon reacted after the finish. “I had to do it this way to finish the season on a high note. I rode uphill above threshold. We went very strongly from the bottom. When I realized the others were struggling, I rode flat out. I got a nice advantage for myself and I gave it all to keep it till the end. It’s been a long and difficult season on many points of views, starting with a broken scaphoid. It’s nice to finish it with a victory.”

 

After ten kilometres of racing and a few unsuccessful attacks, Stefan Küng (BMC Racing Team), Pascal Eenkhorn (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Roger Kluge (Mithelton-Scott) went clear off the peloton. It took less than ten kilometres to Kluge to change his mind and return to the peloton, leaving the Swiss rider time trialist and the young Dutchman with an advantage of 1’30’’ over the bunch at km 20. The leading duo reached a maximum advantage of 3’15’’ at km 40, but 5km further, it was already down to 2’20’’ as race leader Fabio Jakobsen (Quick-Step Floors) was the fastest of the bunch again on the line of the first intermediate sprint while at the front, Küng was first and showed a determination that would later enable him to receive the most active rider price.

At half way into stage 4, the time difference was still 2’15’’. Küng won the second intermediate sprint and Eenkhorn the third one meanwhile Jakobsen continued to score for the points classification. Küng was the last man to surrender, right at the bottom of the climb to the finish with 3km to go. 40 riders rode strongly together until Moscon attacked 1km before the end. The Italian crossed the line 5 seconds before Grossschartner and 8 seconds before Chernetskiy, who was the winner of the Arctic Race of Norway in August this year, two years after Moscon.

 

With the overall classification in mind, the most important thing was winning today”, Moscon added. “Tomorrow it’s a hard stage, a long one with some climbs. I’m sure it’ll be a battle. But I’m confident to retain the lead. Today I showed my legs are good.”


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