Belkin domination continues in Tour of Hainan as team clocks up eighth consecutive stage win
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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Belkin domination continues in Tour of Hainan as team clocks up eighth consecutive stage win

by Shane Stokes at 2:12 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
Hofland triumphs in Danzhou, poised to take final overall victory

Moreno HoflandThe Belkin Pro Cycling team has continued a stunning run of success in the Tour of Hainan, with overall leader Moreno Hofland clocking up what was his team’s eighth and his own third stage victory in the race earlier today.

The Dutchman sped home first in the big bunch sprint to the line, getting the better of Ukraine’s Vitaliy Buts, his own team-mate Lars Boom, Buts’ team-mate Mykhailo Kononenko, Maksym Averin (Atlas Personal-Jakroo) and others.

Drapac’s Will Walker rounded out the top six.

“The scenario was similar to all previous stages,” said Hofland afterwards. “There were some attacks and after that we controlled the group. That went on until we had to take on three climbs just before the final.

“With five riders, we controlled the first group. Eventually, we decided to set up the sprint train and try to take the win. I have to say, the guys did a proper lead-out. Lars Boom made a crucial move in the last one hundred metres as we were about to be boxed in.”

The race has been a runaway success for the Belkin squad, with the Dutch outfit exceeding all expectations, even if it is the sole WorldTour team in the event.

Hofland soloed to victory on stage one, taking what was his first-ever pro win via the day’s fifteen man breakaway. His team-mate Theo Bos clocked up the next four stage victories, while Hofland – who had continued to lead in the interim – was back on top of the stage podium on stage six.

Bos led his team to a staggering result on yesterday’s stage, with he, Boom, Hofland and Tom Leezer netting the first four positions at the finish in Dongfang.

Hofland then hit the line first today, making it victory number eight for the team.

He and the team are now aiming for what would be a clean sweep of stages by taking tomorrow’s final stage. “That would be great,” he stated. “We have worked hard for that all week. Tomorrow’s stage is almost completely flat so I expect a bunch sprint. We have won eight out of eight, we want to win the ninth stage, as well.

“Tomorrow I am also set to take my first overall victory as a pro, that’s pretty special especially because this is my first year as a pro.”

Barring misfortune, he looks set to achieve that goal; he holds a one minute seven seconds lead over Frédéric Amorison (Crelan-Euphony), while team-mates Leezer and Jos Van Emden are third and fourth overall.

Tour of Hainan (2.HC)

Stage 8: Dongfang to Danzhou:

1, Moreno Hofland (Belkin Pro Cycling Team) 172.4 kilometres in 4 hours 18 mins 53 secs
2, Vitaliy Buts (Ukraine)
3, Lars Boom (Belkin Pro Cycling Team)
4, Mykhailo Kononenko (Ukraine)
5, Maksym Averin (Atlas Personal-Jakroo)
6, William Walker (Drapac Cycling)
7, Bartlomiej Matysiak (CCC Polsat Polkowice)
8, Frédéric Amorison (Crelan-Euphony)
9, Justin Jules (La Pomme Marseille)
10, Marek Rutkiewicz (CCC Polsat Polkowice) all same time

General classification after stage 8:

1, Moreno Hofland (Belkin Pro Cycling Team) 30 hours 6 mins 59 secs
2, Frédéric Amorison (Crelan-Euphony) at 1 min 7 secs
3, Thomas Leezer (Belkin Pro Cycling Team) at 1 min 14 secs
4, Jos Van Emden (Belkin Pro Cycling Team) at 1 min 17 secs
5, William Walker (Drapac Cycling) at 1 min 21 secs
6, Mykhailo Kononenko (Ukraine) at 1 min mins 22 secs
7, Darío Hernández (Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon) at 1 min 24 secs
8, Adrian Honkisz (CCC Polsat Polkowice)
9, Volodymyr Zagorodniy (Ukraine) at 1 min 28 secs
10, Darren Lapthorne (Drapac Cycling)


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