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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Sunday, October 20, 2019

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

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Tour of Guangxi stage three reports

We posted the report from GC leader Pascal Ackermann's Bora-hansgrohe team with the results

Here's the report from second-place Aliaksandr Riabushenko's UAE-Team Emirates:

Aliaksandr Riabushenko almost succeeded in the 3rd stage of the Tour of Guangxi, 143 km from Nanning-Nanning.

The Belarusian of the UAE Team Emirates was up in the final group sprint, in a duel with Pascal Ackermann (Bora-hansgrohe), but was unable to come around the stage winner and current race leader. Riabushenko hit the line in 2nd place, not far from Ackermann’s front wheel. Third place went to Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott).

Pascal Ackermann

The stage is Pascal Ackermann's

The only major challenge of the race circuit, covered five times, was a short climb (1.6 km) with an average slope of 4.8% which came 5.7km from the finish.
On the last lap of the day the group thinned out, with Riabushenko showing his reliability and staying up front for the sprint.

Riabushenko after the race: “The stage was well suited for my characteristics.
The team worked very well to bring back the break in front which was very important and then I managed to get in a good position over the top.

"In view of the finish I noticed that in the leading group there were still some very fast riders like Trentin and Ackermann, so I immediately tried to take the German wheel and launch myself in the sprint. The Bora-hansgrohe sprinter is just too strong in the sprint , but I’m still happy for the placement.Tomorrow we take on the queen stage, so I’ll see how far I can go in the overall standings".

The 4th stage will bring the group from Nanning to the Nongla Scenic Area (161.4 km) with the final climb of 2.5 km at 7.2% set to decide the general classification.

Here's the report from third-place Matteo Trentin's Mitchelton-Scott team:

It was third place for the third day in-a-row for Italian Matteo Trentin on stage three of the Tour of Gunagxi in Nanning.

Mitchelton-SCOTT controlled the race for much of the stage and teed up Trentin for another bunch kick, but the 30-year-old was forced to settle for the third step on the podium once again.

Just like on the previous two stages, a three-man breakaway established itself in the early kilometres. The trio were only allowed a slender advantage with the gap rarely nudging over the three minutes mark.

The breakaway was eventually reeled back in as the race passed over the climb for the penultimate time as the Astana Pro Team cranked the tempo up. The peloton split apart as a result, but the gaps were short-lived as it all came back together before the line, with Trentin grabbing bonus seconds heading onto the final lap.

Mitchelton-SCOTT put men on the front of the bunch with Australian’s Kaden Groves and Callum Scotson tasked with driving the pace. It was then a battle for position heading into the climb for the final time before several riders launched attacks up the slopes.

However, nothing could stick despite numerous attempts on the run to the line, with Nick Schultz covering the moves. Alex Edmondson was the man to lead Trentin out inside the final kilometre, but the Italian couldn’t match the pace of Pascal Ackermann (BORA – hansgrohe) who sprinted to victory.

Matteo Trentin:
"I was aiming for today, but it turned out to be another third place. The boys were amazing again today, the team controlled and kept me easy the whole day then I had Edmo plus Shultz leading me out."

"Tomorrow let’s see if I can have a little part in the GC if I can defend myself as best I can and then we’ll see for the last two days."

Matt Wilson (Sports Director):
“The boys did a really good job today, we took a bit of responsibility and decided we would try and control it a little bit before the final for Matteo, it looked like a really great stage for him.”

“But unfortunately, it was really great riding by Ackermann to get over the climb and to be there for the sprint, which was a little bit disappointing for us but with another third place and the time bonuses it’s pretty handy for us.”

And here's the report from fourth-place Nikias Arndt's Team Sunweb:

Stage three at the Tour of Guangxi saw the peloton face 143 kilometres of a testing circuit around the city of Nanning. The organisers changed the route from the 2018 edition of the race, with this year’s parcours including a tricky one and a half kilometre long climb that averaged just under six percent in gradient. Cresting with roughly five kilometres remaining, it would prove to be a stern test for the bunch and undoubtedly split the race up.

The day started in a familiar manner with a group of three escaping the bunch and building up a gap over the peloton. Things remained in a holding pattern until the penultimate lap of the race when the pace was significantly increased and the break was caught on the climb, with the team well positioned at the front as the peloton split. Proceedings once again slowed on the flat though and the dropped riders were able to return to the bunch.

Leading onto the ascent for the last time, the team worked well to position Martijn Tusveld, Nikias Arndt and Max Kanter as the gradient started to bite. An extremely fast pace saw the bunch split to pieces with Tusveld, Arndt and Kanter all riding well and making the front split. In the final kilometre Arndt moved his way through the peloton, delivering a trademark seated sprint finish, crossing the line for a strong fourth place. Behind, Tusveld finished in 11th and Kanter 16th, marking a good day for the team.

“It was a fast and short stage today, with loops around the city,” explained Arndt. “We worked really well as a team and stayed together throughout the stage. We managed to bring Martijn into a good position for the finish and he looked strong on the climb. In the sprint, Max and I missed each other in the lead out and around the last corner I saw he wasn’t in the wheel so I tried to go for the sprint myself. I think we made the best out of it and I was able to finish in fourth place after a good team display today. Now we’re looking forward to the uphill finish tomorrow.”

Team Sunweb coach Matt Winston continued: “The guys rode really well into the climb for the penultimate time where Astana went really hard and split the race. We were always in front and in control of our plan. Coming onto the last lap the guys did well to bring Nikias, Max and Martijn into the bottom of the climb in the front positions. They went and fought it out on the climb and a group of around 50 riders came together after the descent. At that moment Nikias tried to bring Max forward into the finish, but Max just missed the wheel a little so Nikias carried on in the final kilometre and ended with a good fourth place. Martijn, who we’re looking after for GC, was 11th and Max finished in 16th; so overall we’re really happy with the result there and having three guys in the top 20.”

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