Tour of Guangxi kicks off with a stage victory for Elia Viviani
date:2023-10-15 source: hits:

Olympic track cycling champion Elia Viviani won the first stage of the Tour of Guangxi. Racing through the streets of Beihai, he demonstrated his sprinting skills, outpacing Jonathan Milan and Sam Bennett in a mass sprint finish.

Prior to the race, during the press conference, the Italian sprinter from Ineos Grenadiers expressed his desire to carry the momentum he had gained in Croatia (stage victory) into the Tour of Guangxi, and he succeeded.

Viviani said that he always believed he could still win WorldTour sprints. “Even though I had to wait quite some time for another victory at this level. I maybe wasn’t so lucky this season, but today I showed that I can still triumph at the highest level”, the Italian said. 

Early in the race, a quartet of riders managed to break away: Dries de Bondt from Alpecin - Deceuninck, Frederik Wandahl from Bora Hansgrohe, Louis Barré from Arkéa-Samsic, and Omer Goldstein from Israel - Premier Tech. However, their lead never exceeded ninety seconds. 

While De Bondt collected points at the intermediate sprints, Wandahl was focused on securing the King of the Mountains (KOM) jersey. Unfortunately, Barré fell back from the leading group due to a mechanical issue. In the meantime, Wandahl successfully claimed the maximum points at the first and second KOM sprints, earning him a spot on the podium for Bora-Hansgrohe.

As the opening stage approached its climax, the four breakaway companions were caught after the final ascent. On the wide roads of Beihai, the lead-out trains from competitive teams prepared their sprinters for a mass sprint finish.

Viviani, in addition to securing the first leader's jersey in this year's Tour of Guangxi, demonstrated that he had the quickest sprint. Milan missed victory but was awarded the white jersey for being the best young rider. "

The younger Italian sprinter of the two: “My teammates performed well today, and I'm in excellent form. I enjoy racing on Chinese roads and in this environment. We're all dedicated to concluding the season on a high note. This was a promising start, but, of course, the season's finish will only be a success if we win a stage in the coming days."

The Italian winner himself is also hopeful for more victories. "We're taking it one stage at a time, and we'll carefully analyze today's stage, even though I believe the team executed a flawless race plan. Together, we can achieve more victories, hopefully."

The Tour of Guangxi continues tomorrow with another flat stage, resulting in an excellent chance for Viviani to make it back-to-back victories in China. Milan will be looking to improve his race results, while pre-race stage victory favourites like Olav Kooij (Jumbo-Visma) and Arnaud de Lie (Lotto-Dsnty) will be aiming for revenge.

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