Walscheid claims fifth stage win as Lutsenko takes home yellow jersey at Tour of Hainan
Giant-Alpecin’s Max Walscheid picks up win No.5 in a storm-altered final stage in Hainan, while Astana’s Alexey Lutsenko tops final general classification standings…
Race organizers reacted quickly in restructuring the stage to the exact 88.3km opener eight days earlier – with the addition of wind and rain.
While the course was the same, the result was not.
“We needed to control the race from the first moment on because it was quite windy,” Walscheid told Eurosport. “The crosswinds were heavy, but in the end I knew the finish and I am happy to correct the mistake from the first stage.”
A premature victory celebration cost the 23-year-old the opening stage, which would have given him the sixth win of the race and of his fledgling pro career.
“This win is incredible,” said Walscheid, who also finished with the green points jersey. “Today we had actually our best stage. My team worked incredibly hard from the beginning, as we were always in the front and I didn’t have to expend any energy that wasn’t necessary.
“I also had the perfect leadout,” he continued. “I started at 125m, which is really short for a sprint because it was so fast in the end. My team-mate Bert De Backer (GER) was excellent as my leadout man and completely selfless.
“This is the best way to end the season with a win like this.”
Astana's Alexey Lutsenko (KAZ) takes home the yellow jersey after topping the final general classification at the 2016 Tour of Hainan on Sunday - Photo: Adrian Hoe / Tour of HainanEurosport
Lutsenko was also awarded the blue jersey as Best Asian Rider.
“I’m very happy,” said the 2012 under-23 UCI world road race champion, Lutsenko. “It was raining and windy, and was a tough stage. Even though we did not expect a change on GC, we did our best to defend the yellow jersey.”
When asked in the post-race press conference what his Chinese neck tattoo meant in English, the 24-year-old Paris-Nice stage winner said with a smile: “good luck!”
Stage 9 Classification
1. Max Walscheid, GER, Giant-Alpecin, 1:57:14
2. Roberto Ferrari, BRA, Lampre-Merida, s.t.
3. Rafael Andriato, BRA, Wilier Triestina-Southeast, s.t.
Final General Classification
1. Alexey Lutsenko, KAZ, Astana Pro Team, 29:05:47
2. Przemyslaw Niemiec, POL, Lampre-Merida, 0:17
3. Matej Mohoric, SLO, Lampre-Merida, 0:44
Race Leader (Yellow Jeragesey): Alexey Lutsenko, KAZ, Astana Pro Team
Points Leader (Green Jersey): Max Walscheid, GER, Team Giant-Alpecin
Mountains leader (Polka-dot Jersey): Guangtong Ma, CHN, Wisdom-Hengxiang Cycling Team
Best Asian Rider (Blue Jersey): Alexey Lutsenko, KAZ, Astana Pro Team
Most Aggressive Rider: Oleksiy Kasyanov, UKR, Jilun Shakeland Cycling Team
Teams classification: Lampre-Merida, ITA, 105:52:33