Stage win and GC-lead for Milan Vader after climbing stage in Guangxi
date:2023-10-15 source: hits:

The mountain stage of the Tour of Guangxi has crowned Milan Vader as the winner, with back-to-back victories for Team Jumbo-Visma in China. Vader is also the new leader in the general classification. 

The victory in Nongla marked a significant milestone for the Dutchman, as it's his first professional road cycling victory while he also created a solid foundation for a potential overall win in Guangxi.

An emotional Vader said after the finish he was speechless. “After everything that happened, especially following my accident in the Tour of the Basque Country last year,  winning is an incredibly special feeling. When I think back at what my girlfriend, my family, my team and I went through, I get emotional again. This victory is dedicated to them. It means the world to me." 

Alpecin-Deceuninck, led by race leader Dries de Bondt, determined that the most effective strategy for preserving their lead in the general classification was to send a rider up the road during the stage to Nongla. Jensen Plowright launched an attack, ensuring that the Belgian team would not have to take responsibility for the early pursuit. 

Regrettably for the Belgians, this tactic didn't pan out as De Bondt struggled on the final climb, losing significant time to the stage winner, Vader. 

Changsheng Sun represented China and the Chinese National Team within the group of escapees, showcasing the remarkable progress of Chinese cycling, following Binyan Ma's eighth-place finish in the second stage. 

Competing in the Tour of Guangxi marked the first time the Chinese national team had participates  in a WorldTour race since the Tour of Beijing in 2011. By joining a breakaway and securing a top 10 result in the race, the Tour of Guangxi has already been a success for China. 

Julius Johansen (Intermarché–Circus–Wanty) also joined Plowright in the breakaway, attacking for the fourth consecutive day in Guangxi. Zdenek Stybar from Jayco-AlUla, competing in one of his final road races, managed to secure a spot in the breakaway. Jens Reynders from Israel - Premier Tech completed the breakaway of the day. 

The peloton didn't give this breakaway much room, and they were reeled in before the final uphill ascent. On the slopes of the somewhat misleading climb (due to the flat section in the middle of the climb, the ascent is actually considerably more challenging than it appears on paper), UAE Team Emirates and Bora-Hansgrohe took control. 

As the riders approached the KOM banner, 1.4 kilometers before the finish line, the group was considerably smaller. Vader, positioned fifth, launched a decisive attack in the steep final section of the climb, ultimately claiming victory in Nongla. 

Louis Barré (Team Cofidis) secured the second position, with Hugh Carthy (EF Education Easy-Post) crossing the line in third place. 

Vader described the final effort as approximately 90 seconds, which suited his strengths as a (former) professional mountain biker. “When I had a look the course profile before traveling to China, I realized that this was my opportunity for my first professional victory. I am so happy I did it.”

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