Jason Christie talks Tour of Qinghai Lake – Stage 10

By Demon Communications

Just 24 hours after capturing his first win of the 2016 season, Slovenian Marko Kump (Lampre-Merida) claimed his second with an impressive stage 10 victory in Pingliang, China, at the end of an excruciating 240km day at the 15th ‘Qinghai Rural Credit Cup’ Tour of Qinghai Lake (UCI 2.HC) on Wednesday, July 27.

Last year’s points champion and five-time stage winner crossed the finish first over fellow two-time stage winner and current blue jersey holder for ‘best Asian rider’ Yevgeniy Gidich (Vino 4ever SKO) and stage 8 winner Nicolas Marini (Nippo-Vini Fantini). The victory moves the 27-year-old into second place on the race’s all-time stage winner list with seven wins – just one behind leader and fellow Lampre rider Sacha Modolo (ITA).

The Italian-registered UCI WorldTour team has already tripled its win tally from last year, when Belarusian Ilia Koshevoy recorded Lampre’s lone victory. Federico Zurlo (ITA), who was one of six riders in a 100-kilometre break on the day, jumpstarted the team’s first of three wins in four finishes with a thrilling stage 7 win in Qingshizui.

Joining Zurlo, were riders Andriy Vasylyuk (Kolss-BDC), Alexandr Shushemoin (Vino 4ever SKO), Dadi Suryadi (Terengganu Cycling Team), stage 9’s most aggressive rider Connor McCutcheon (Team Illuminate) and his successor Carlos Quintero (China Continental Team of Gansu Bank). All riders filtered back the bunch inside the final 20km, with Vasylyuk and Quintero the final two being caught with less than 3km to go.

Still no change in either the general- or points classification, with Ukrainian Vitaliy Buts (Kolss-BDC) maintaining his grip on both jerseys since he slipped into yellow after stage 3 and into green after his stage 4 win in the race’s namesake stage. Teammate and stage 6 winner Sergiy Lagkuti drops from one to four seconds back in second place, while Alberto Cecchin (Team Roth) loses three seconds to remain in third (+0:25) with just three days remaining in the 13-stage, 1,916km UCI Asia Tour road race.
Following the stage, NZ Bike caught up with reigning New Zealand road race champion Jason Christie (Kenyan Riders Downunder) to get his thoughts on the longest day of the 13-stage, 1,916km UCI Asia Tour road race.

Christie’s diary entry: Stage 10 – Tianshui to Pingliang, 240km

Well, what a day that was on the bike.

We had some fantastic weather installed for the longest stage (240km) here at the Tour of Qinghai Lake. I actually had purposely eyed this stage for a result. Yes, in my mind I wanted to have a decent crack and knew exactly when would be the time to do it if the race played out as I expected it to – well, that's if it was a fair race?

You know, it may be bad of me to spill the beans on this but frankly I've never ever in my life seen/heard or even expected so much cheating and unfair play at a 2.HC race.

To elaborate, the stage had a couple of climbs in it and I knew that the field would be really reduced by the end – maybe 30 riders at most – but the opposite happens here.

Maybe they should call it the race of holding onto a car up a hill?

Yes, cars dragging their riders past dropped riders directly back to the back of the peloton. It's a bit unfair really as I see riders – and in fact sprinters – climb their asses off to make the front group over the climbs. Having the others change the entire dynamic of a race by doing what they are doing to get back ruins it for others like myself.

Some guys have been penalized, but certain riders and teams are just overlooked. Another instance that happened today that involved myself was a brake check (purposely) by another rider causing me to crash.

Why would he do this you may wonder? Your guess is as good as mine.

The worst part is the chief commissaire wouldn't do anything about it, even when other riders put in formal complaints. But you know, if I retaliated as many of you would have expected, I would've been kicked out of the race.

I'm curious to see where the fairness is here. Anyway, the stage was won by Marko Kump today, so a big congrats to Marko as I saw him suffering up the hills to make the front over the top. Much deserved win. Now time for another 440km transfer.

Interesting days here in Qinghai I guess you could say, with more to come I’m sure.

Until next time, stay tuned…

-Jason Christie

Stage 10 Classification
1. Marko Kump, SLO, Lampre-Merida, 5:31:08
2. Yevgeniy Gidich, KAZ, Vino 4ever SKO, s.t.
3. Nicolas Marini, ITA, Nippo-Vini Fantini, s.t.

General Classification
1. Vitaliy Buts, UKR, Kolss-BDC, 38:36:09
2. Sergiy Lagkuti, UKR, Kolss-BDC, 0:04
3. Alberto Cecchin, ITA, Team Roth, 0:25

Classification Leaders
Race Leader (Yellow Jersey): Vitaliy Buts, UKR, Kolss-BDC
Points Leader (Green Jersey): Vitaliy Buts, UKR, Kolss-BDC
Mountains leader (Polka Dot Jersey): Mauricio Ortega, COL, RTS-Santic
Best Asian Rider (Blue Jersey): Yevgeniy Gidich, KAZ, Vino 4ever SKO
Most Aggressive: Carlos Quintero, COL, China Continental Team of Gansu Bank
Teams classification: Kolss-BDC, 115:52:37
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