Race News

A win and three 2nd places in Asia


A win and three 2nd places in Asia

As the season gets closer to its end the riders of TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA have performed strongly again: At the Japan Cup the team had two riders in the top5 with Diego Ulissi and Jan Polanc, and the third stage of the Tour of Hainan was won by Sacha Modolo in a bunch sprint.

At the Japan Cup teams were only competing with five riders each. On the topographically demanding circuit around Utsunomiya TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA was one of the most active teams in the peloton. Chung-Kai Feng selflessly sacrificed himself for his team mates in order to reel in the seven escapees of the day. Throughout the final two laps Manuele Mori and Edward Ravasi joined in with the pacemaking, reeling in the attackers. As a consequence the group of the contenders for the win was shrinking bit by bit. Two riders in blue, fuchsia and MERIDA green were riding in the leading positions of the race far into the finale until Jan Polanc lost contact to the four fastest riders, crossing the finish line in 5th. Four riders competed for the win, and Diego Ulissi was only beaten by Dutchman Bauke Mollema in the sprint.

Only two days after the Japan Cup the Tour of Hainan started in the southwest of China. Last year Niccolo Bonifazio had been shining at this nine-day race, winning no less than three stages for TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA. Just like the previous year the team fielded two strong sprinters with Sacha Modolo and Roberto Ferrari. But the two got beaten by their former team mate Andrea Palini in the first two stages. At the end of the first stage Sacha Modolo got boxed in and found no gap to accelerate. Roberto Ferrari came in his place but could not do better than 2nd. The next day Modolo launched his sprint a little bit to early, and from his rear wheel Palini managed to get passed him in the dash for the line.

The riders in blue, fuchsia and MERIDA green could not take that, and they went into the finale of the third stage finishing in the provincial capital of Haikou all the more focussed and resolved. The team kept a low profile all the way to the final kilometer and then TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA’s sprint train moved into action and into the leading positions of the peloton. Sacha Modolo kept his patience and only got out of the slipstream of his lead-out rider with 150 meters to go. His acceleration was strong enough to earn him his first victory since the month of May and his two stage wins at the Giro d’Italia. For the team this was the 28th win of the season. And the Tour of Hainan is far from over.

Tour of Hainan
Stage 3: Wenchang - Haikou, 130.7km

1. Sacha Modolo, ITA/TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA, in 3:05.02 hours
2. Jakub Mareczko, ITA, st
3. Eduard Grosu, ROM, st

Image: 7cycling.com