Herrada, Sütterlin help out Sanz into unfruitful first sprint in Zhangjiakou; Visconti abandons
The last edition of the Tour of Beijing as part of the WorldTour series started in Chongli on Friday with a 167km parcours including only few, short hills, yet adding some handicap with heights above 1,500m for most of stage one, heading into a slight descent for a predictable sprint finish.
Kern (ALM), Van der Sande (LTB) and late survivor Jérémy Roy (FDJ) were the day’s only escapees, as the Movistar Team kept the front of the bunch with Dayer Quintana and Pablo Lastras before the sprint preparations started for the Blues’ fastman, Enrique Sanz. The young Spaniard did not achieve his goal -he finished in 13th spot-, yet his team-mates Jesús Herrada and Jasha Sütterlin, the latter trying to go on the attack with 2km left, attempted to make things easier for the Navarrese. The day’s bad news came later, as Giovanni Visconti had to abandon.
Slovenia’s Luka Mezgec (GIA) claimed the stage victory with a short margin over young Aussie Caleb Ewan (OGE) at the first of three bunch kicks expected to happen in eastern China. The second one should follow tomorrow, at the end of 147km from Chongli to Yanqing with only two steady, Cat-3 climbs.