Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) won stage 5 of the Tour of Gaungxi from a reduced bunch sprint. 2nd place went the way of Fernando Gaviria (Quickstep-Floors) with Magnus Cort Nielsen (Orica-Scott) rounding out the stage podium.
Stage 5 of the Tour of Gaungxi was the longest of the race at 212km. There was also a fair bit of climbing during today’s stage with 3 categorised climbs coming between 60km – 30km to go. The stage got off to a fast start with numerous attacks and Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka was very active, sending Daniel Teklehaimanot, Mekseb Debesay and Bernie Eisel up the road at different points. Eventually, after 60km of racing 3 riders got away and rode ahead to a maximum lead of 5-minutes.
The 3 climbs in the later part of the stage was where the action would start again as the attacks began in order to drop the weaker riders from the peloton. After the final climb, the break was caught and there was only 70-odd riders remaining in the peloton. Our African Team had 5 riders still in the main group for the flat run to the finish.
With Lotto-Soudal and LottoNL-Jumbo then driving the pace to the line, a reduced bunch sprint would be the final order of play. Groenewegen was able to break the hold Gaviria had on the sprint finishes here at Tour of Gaungxi, taking the win right on the line. Our African Team had Mekseb Debesay and Ryan Gibbons both just miss out on the top 10 by placing 11th and 12th respectively. Debesay was able to retain his 11th place overall.
Ryan Gibbons – Rider
I’m still feeling pretty sore and not quite myself but I’m slowly getting better. I can feel the legs are there but the confidence isn’t and that is what is costing me. The guys rode super well today and we’re confident we can find Mekseb a few more seconds to move him further up on GC. If I can have the same legs I had today, a bit more confidence can definitely yield a result tomorrow.