Jonathan Breyne won stage 8 of the 2013 Tour of Taihu by staying slightly ahead of what might have been a bunch sprint finish. Indeed, the Belgian rider beat Boris Shpilevskiy and Ahmet Örken by the slimmest of margins, while race leader Yuriy Metlushenko finished in fourth place, thus maintaining his lead of fourteen seconds over Alois Kankovsky.
"I could see the peloton coming back on me but I decided to do the last kilometer flat out, it was all or nothing," Breyne said.
"When I realized that Vitaly Buts was cracking, I had no doubt that I had to go. Fortunately, there was a three-quarter tail wind to help me. I was the strongest of the riders away. I pulled for eight kilometers out of sixteen in the final loop."
Today’s stage saw Breyne accelerate from the lead group, along with Vitaly Buts and his teammate Klas Sys, after the first intermediate sprint. At one point, the trio had created a gap of more than two minutes by the 58 kilometer mark.However, Örken pursued in earnest, pulling teammate Metlushenko along with him. The duo, along with Kankovsky, Premont, Wohler, Martinez, Pedersen and Buttner, ultimately made contact with the three leaders.
After the stage, the 37-year old Metlushenko indicated that was tired from the effort.
"Today it’s a real honor for me to see Ahmet doing so well to protect my leader’s jersey," the Ukrainian said. "He’s my student! Seven days to defend this jersey have taken their toll. I came to the Tour of Taihu Lake with the aim of winning a stage and I’ve won four of them. To be the overall winner would mean a lot. We’re not there yet but I’m not racing to finish second."
Top 10 Finishers
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