- - Tour of Hainan 2014 Stage 2

Tour of Hainan 2014 Stage 2

Lampre-Merida’a Nicolo Bonifazio took the yellow jersey from Moreno Hofland, by winning the second stage at the 2014 Tour of Haina cycling race on Tuesday.

Bonifazio, who won a photo finish in five hours, four minutes and 50 second, also grabbed the green jersey from Hofland.

Chinese rider Wang Meiyin from Hengxiang Cycling Team was awarded the blue jersey that represents the best Asian rider.

"As a young rider, I just began my career, hoping we could keep working together in the next stages to win the event," said Bonifazio.

The second stage was from Chengmai to Haikou, covering 207.2 kilometers.

“Yesterday we didn’t manage to sprint well”, Bonifazio commented. “We’ve been a bit unlucky even though we got a good result (Palini 2nd, Bonifazio 4th and Ferrari 6th ). But today, we agreed about the order of our train from the start: Palini and myself. It turned out exactly as we wanted.”

The main breakaway of the day was formed by  Wang Meiyin (Hengxiang), Oleksandr Surutkovych (Baku), Gu Ying Chuan (Giant-Champion System) and Saiful Aziz (Terengganu).

They got a maximum advantage of nine minutes – half way into the race. Wang easily won all three intermediate sprints and thus took over from his team-mate Ma Guangtong as leader of the Asian riders competition.

“I was very lucky to make the breakaway”, Wang said. “I normally go well on the climbs but as there wasn’t any on the route today, I focused on those intermediate sprints and I gained nine seconds. I want to get more time bonus in order to finish at the highest possible rank overall.”

Bai Li Jun (Giant-Champion System) and Chris Williams (Novo Nordisk) also tried their luck despite more than an hour of heavy rain. However, the sun reappeared, bringing the peloton back together again during the final 40 kilometers for a sprint finale.
“We had a tail wind to finish so it was a very fast sprint in the last 1300 meters today”, second placed Wippert explained. “The lead out I got was perfect but we started just a little bit too far back and couldn’t finish it off with this tail wind. Yesterday I felt the jet lag badly. Today I was better and I hope I’ll better again tomorrow to improve my result. There are still seven stages to go. It’s a long week of racing.”
Hofland wasn’t disappointed to get the pressure off.
“I was a little bit too far back in the last corner and I tried to move up”, the yellow jersey described. “But it didn’t go as planned. I had to go too early. I chose the right side of the road while the others were sprinting on the left. They were faster than me today. It feels good to let the jersey go though.”
“Now it’ll be up to us to control the race”, runner up Palini admitted. “We’ll ask Belkin to cooperate because Hofland is equal on time and the race should remain like that until stage 7, which is going to be decisive for the overall win.”

The next stage will be from Haikou to Wencheng on Wednesday, covering 136.5 kilometers.


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