Team Lampre-Merida

Sacha Modolo wins the Tour of Hainan

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Sacha Modolo wins the Tour of Hainan

Thanks to consistently strong sprints and a surprisingly strong performance in the Queen’s stage, TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA’s Sacha Modolo got to celebrate the overall win at the Tour of Hainan in Southwestern China - an astonishing success for a sprinter and the 29th win of the season for the team.

To cap off the 2015 season TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA fielded a line-up at the 10th Tour of Hainan that aimed at wins in the flat stages with Sacha Modolo and Roberto Ferrari and at the overall standings with young Italian Valerio Conti. This three riders got supported by Matteo Bono, Mattia Cattaneo, Mario Costa and Xu Gang. And indeed the seven riders in blue, fuchsia and MERIDA green managed to get two stage wins and a number of additional podium results thanks to Sacha Modolo. Roberto Ferrari also made it to the podium early on in the nine-day stage race, and thanks to the bonification seconds Modolo was riding in the leader’s yellow jersey for most of the stage race.

But against all expectation the penultimate, topographically demanding stage did not turn the overall standings upside down: Thanks to the steady pace set by his team mates, Sacha Modolo managed to keep himself in the main bunch on the first two category 1 climbs. He lost some time to his strongest rivals on the final category 1 climb, but TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA showed great team work to limit the gap to the fastest riders. Meanwhile Valerio Conti countered the unavoidable attacks of the climbing specialists, but a crash on the descent to the finish took him out of contention for the stage win. In the same descent Modolo managed to claw back some seconds, defending his overall lead with this courageous performance. Thus the sprinter got himself in an ideal position to celebrate his first overall win in a stage race as a professional cyclist.

And Sacha Modolo did not miss out on this chance in the last stage that led over 119 kilometers from Wuzhishan to Xinglong: Two category 3 climbs in the finale offered some opportunities for attacks, but Modolo closed the gap to his closest chaser Andrey Zeits himself. This was also the reason why TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA’s sprinter lacked the necessary punch to sprint to another podium result. But Sacha Modolo’s overall win was in the books, and the Italian added the win in the points’ standings to that. „This is the first time ever that I have managed to win the overall of a stage win - I did not even do so as a junior. This would never have been possible without the great support of my team mates, which is why I would like to thank them again cordially. TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA closes the season with 29 wins and an important success - all the more so as Asia is a market of great importance for MERIDA.

10. Tour of Hainan
Overall standings

1. Sacha Modolo, ITA/TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA, in 35:26.51 Stunden
2. Andrey Zeits, KAZ, + 0.09
3. Julien el Fares, + 0.12

Image: 7Pictures.com