Tour of Beijing (st. 2)
7th place for telephone squad’s young leader -now topping the U25 standings- at improvised uphill finish in Jan Yia Ping, after final 35km are scrapped due to bad air quality. Gilbert (BMC) now leads
Only 111 kilometers were covered on day two of the 2014 Tour of Beijing, after a meeting between the organising committee, the jury, riders and sports directors decided to scrap the final, downhill section towards Yanqing due to poor air quality in Beijing city -where the race is expected to come to an end on Tuesday-, which also reached the outskirts of the Chinese capital. Avoiding that risk for riders’ health, the bunch went on with a short stage, only three valiants making a short gap and Laurent Mangel (FDJ) getting caught as last survivor just before the decisive slope (1km at 8%.)
The two youngest riders of the Movistar Team -Jasha Sütterlin and Dayer Quintana- took command alongside Pablo Lastras and led out the telephone squad’s leader in China, Jesús Herrada, before the uphill sprint. The Spaniard, who has shown amazing form in his last races in Canada and Spain, took 7th against the top specialists as former world champion Philippe Gilbert (BMC) grabbed the day’s honours and the leader’s jersey. The Belgian will have to defend his top position in two complicated stages from Sunday: day three, with seven climbs including Huang Tu Liang (Cat-2), just 11km away from Qiandiajian’s finish, and Monday’s mountain-top arrival in Mentougou set to decide the race overall. Herrada, 4th at 11″, will start in white as Young Riders’ competition leader.