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Taihu Lake (5) : Boris Vallée strengthens lead with only two days to go

Taihu Lake (5) : Boris Vallée strengthens lead with only two days to go

The fifth stage of the Tour of Taihu Lake (2.1, 07-14/10) offered the longest stage in the Chinese stage race. The 146.5 kilometers from Nantong to Haimen were a tough job for the orange leader's jersey Boris Vallée and his teammates. A lot of attacks took place in the initial phase of the stage, but the peloton regrouped each time in the run-up to the intermediate sprints. Boris Vallée traditionally took a bonus second and thus strengthened his leader's position. In the final sprint Boris Vallée was launched well and he sprinted to fourth place. The Belgian sprinter also stays in the lead of the points classification.

Boris Vallée: 

« It was again a nervous day, with a tough fight between the Chinese riders for the  jersey for the best Chinese rider. They attacked each other in the battle for the bonus seconds, so the different attempts never got more than 10 seconds advantage. I aimed for the bonus seconds in two intermediate sprints, unfortunately I sprinted 4th in the first one and then 3rd in the second. But maybe this second will be decisive in the final classification. »

« The team keeps up with the good work. Marco Minnaard, Kevin Van Melsen and Jasper De Laat controlled all day and Mark McNally and Wesley Kreder launched me in the sprint. Unfortunately I miss some speed compared to Mareczko, who was clearly the fastest. I would have liked to finish third for some extra bonus seconds, but on the other hand I stay in the lead with only two days to go. »

« I have a lot of confidence in my team. Tomorrow I expect another fast start with a first intermediate sprint after 14 kilometers. Positioning will be crucial. I hope to keep the lead on the home ground of our clothing partner Santic and on the ground of our bike manufacturer Cube. But in these moments I especially think of Jimmy Duquennoy, who will be buried this Friday. »
 
Stage 5 :
1. Jakub Mareczko
2. Imerio Cima
3. Natnael Tesfatsion
4. Boris Vallée
71. Marco Minnaard
78. Kevin Van Melsen
86. Jasper De Laat
91. Wesley Kreder
98. Mark McNally + 0:20

GC :
1. Boris Vallée
2. Benjamin Dyball + 0 :15
3. Alexander Cataford 
48. Wesley Kreder + 1 :21
49. Kevin Van Melsen + 1 :23
52. Jasper De Laat + 1:27
54. Marco Minnaard + 1:28
60. Mark McNally + 1:37