Molano outpaces Kooij and Andresen in thrilling mass sprint finish Guangxi
date:2023-10-20 source: hits:

Following a third-place finish earlier this week, Juan Sebastian Molano secured victory in the fifth stage of the Tour of Guangxi. Milan Vader maintained his hold on the red leader's jersey.

In the closing moments of the race, Molano appeared to be boxed in on the left side of the road, but he managed to find a gap close to the barriers and powered successfully to the finish line.

"I've put in a lot of effort to reach this level, and wins like this are important milestones for me, confirming that I'm on the right path and staying motivated, even at the end of the season here in China. The competition is strong, here in China, with a lot of the world-best sprinters racing, so winning here is important to me.”

The breakaway of the day took a while to form, but after more than an hour of racing, some familiar faces managed to break away.

Dries de Bondt (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Frederik Wandahl, and Ryan Mullen (Bora-Hansgrohe), and Julius van den Berg (EF Education-EasyPost) couldn't maintain their lead of up to six minutes. Wandahl did secure the KOM jersey for being part of the break.

Most of the dropped riders rejoined the peloton after the last KOM summit, just 30 kilometers before the finish, setting the stage for a mass sprint on the streets of Guilin.

Arnaud De Lie had targeted the stage win all day, with Lotto-Dstny chasing the breakaway. However, the Belgian, who had a strong season, couldn't match the United Arab Emirates team's excellent lead-out for Molano.

"Sprinting in China is different due to the wide roads”, Molano said. “Sprinters weave left and right to initiate their final sprint. Fortunately, I found a gap by the roadside and sprinted to the victory for my teammates." 

Milan Vader's hold on the leader's position was never seriously challenged, and Team Jumbo-Visma will aim to defend the red jersey in tomorrow's final stage.

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