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July 17/09 18:32 pm - Tour of Qinghai Lake: Prologue, Routley 6th


Posted by Editoress on 07/17/09
 

At an altitude of 2511 meters - over 200 meters higher than this years Tour de France highest mountain pass - and surrounded by even higher mountains which reach elevations of over 5000 meters serving as a constant reminder of what is still to come during the next nine days, Huzhu played host to the opening stage of the Tour of Qinghai Lake for the first time in its eight year history by turning on the heat. Not only did the 143 starters, most of whom arrived in the last few days face the dizzying effect that altitude can have, but that were forced to do so while battling similar temperatures to their counterpart in (the much lower) France.

Serhiy Honchar, who not to long ago could be seen racing around France in the familiar yellow jersey of leader of the great race, was one of the first to tackle the not too technical, but extremely heavy parcours - due mainly to the altitude. Showing the familiar rocking style, but not the form which has propelled him to two wins against the clock at the Tour and one world Championship in the same discipline - his time was not even fast enough to net him the hot seat as fastest time so far, after just eight riders.

The lead changed several times, before the crowd of around 20,000 screaming Chinese cycling fans saw the best time for the 4.8 kilometre go under the magical six minute mark. In what was possibly the first of many signs that the Iranian Tabriz Petrochemicals had sent their A team to China in a bid to claim the overall title after three near misses, Ahad Kazemi Sarai blasted his way to early leader with a time of 5.54.

It would take another former top flight pro to knock the Iranian off his perch, Niclas Axelsson, who has finished as high as 6th overall in the Giro d'Italia, rode just two seconds faster than Kazemi Sari. The Swedes time would stick as leader until Canadian Will Routley knocked a further second from his time.

Routley's time was looking more and more like it was at least good enough for a podium as rider after rider tried but failed to better his time. That was until China's Li Fuyu, who rides for Marco Polo, summoned the collective strength of the Chinese home crowd to better the Canadian time by three seconds - it was a tall order with 50 riders remaining, but it seemed possible that Fuyu's time might just be enough to clinch the opening stage and leaders jersey.

It was not meant to be however, but it took the last rider on course to make it so. Prologue specialist Andrey Mizurov, the only foreigner riding for Tabriz Petrochemicals, went into his ride knowing exactly what was needed to deliver the first yellow jersey of the Tour to his employer and he he wasn't about to disappoint.

rounding the final corner with his minute man in sight, it was clear that his ride was going to net him the win, but what was unclear, was by how much.

An incredible time of 5.41 left even the most seasoned pro gasping as Mizurov knocked a further six seconds off the best time. He knew what was needed and delivered in a similar manner to that of Fabian Cancellara does for his Saxo Bank team.

"I expected to win," he explained in broken English before accepting the stage win, overall leaders jersey, points jersey and the polka dot jersey as best climber.

Indeed he was not the only one who expected him to win, but expectations and delivering on them are two very different things.

Rounding out the top three, with a time shared by two other riders was German sprint ace Danielo Hondo. It came down to just hundredths of a second to separate the three riders, Hondo, Australia's Dylan Newell and Matej Stare on 5.50, maybe it was Hondo's finely honed skill of lunging for the line which secured him the podium finish, or maybe it was luck - Newell also threw for the line, but almost came to a crashing halt as his saddle waited until the last possible moment before snapping from the post, which surely cost him a few hundredths of a second, not to mention Praties dream start to the tour.

Either way Hondo was happy to stand on the podium along side two of Asia's best riders.

"It is a nice feeling to come here and experience the hospitality of the people here.

"Five k's was harder than you think before the start, but it was a good prologue, and I hope the next stages to show more self more at the front."

Hondo has some good form coming into Qinghai - he won a stage a the sprinters classification at the recent Course de Solidarnosc et des Champions Olympiques in Poland, so will be looking to improve on his third place today.

Even though the Tour of Qinghai Lake tackles some of the highest mountains seen in a bike race doesn't mean that it can't be a sprinters race. The past two editions has seen sprinters take out the majority of the stages of offer. A tradition that Hondo no doubt hopes to continue.

"I will win a stage," he says in the typical cocky style of a sprinter. Given he has amassed over 120 wins in his career - most of which were won in sprints - who are we to argue?


Report by Paul Verkuylen

Prologue: 4.8 km ITT Time Diff
1 Andrey Mizurov (Kaz) Tabriz Petrochemicals 5:41  
2 Fuyu Li (Chn) Trek -MP 5:48 0:06
3 Danilo Hondo (Ger) Whirlpool -Author 5:50 0:08
4 Dylan Newell (Aus) Praties 5:50 0:08
5 Matej Stare (Slo) Slovenia 5:50 0:09
6 Will Routley (Can) Jelly Belly 5:51 0:09
7 Radoslav Rogina (Cro) Loborika 5:51 0:10
8 Mariusz Witecki (Pol) Poland 5:52 0:10
9 Darren Lapthorne (Aus) Rapha-Condor 5:52 0:10
10 Niklas Axelsson (Swe) Team Utensilnord 5:54 0:12
11 Kyle Marwood (Aus) Praties 5:55 0:13
12 Stanislav Kozubek (Cze) Whirlpool -Author 5:56 0:14
13 Ahad Kazemi Sarai (Iri) Tabriz Petrochemicals 5:56 0:14
14 Mitja Mahoric (Slo) Slovenia 5:56 0:14
15 William Clarke (Aus) Praties 5:57 0:15
16 Reijnen Kiel (USA) Jelly Belly 5:57 0:15
17 Dmitry Gruzdev (Kaz) Kazakhstan 5:57 0:15
18 Tom Southam (GBr) Rapha-Condor 5:57 0:15
19 Hossein Askari (Iri) Tabriz Petrochemicals 5:58 0:16
20 James Perry (RSA) Neotel/CKT 5:58 0:16
21 Lucas Persson (Swe) Team Capinordic 5:58 0:16
22 Piotr Osinski (Pol) Poland 5:58 0:17
23 Jure Kocjan (Slo) Slovenia 5:59 0:17
24 Vladimir Kerkez (Slo) Slovenia 5:59 0:17
25 Phillip Gaimon (USA) Jelly Belly 5:59 0:17
26 Volodymyr Rybin (Ukr) Ukraine 5:59 0:17
27 Simon Richardson (GBr) Rapha-Condor 6:00 0:18
28 Ghader Mizbani Iranagh (Iri) Tabriz Petrochemicals 6:00 0:18
29 Jeremy Powers (USA) Jelly Belly 6:00 0:19
30 Sergiy Grechin (Ukr) Ukraine 6:01 0:19
31 Bert Roesems (Bel) Cinelli-Down Under 6:01 0:19
32 Haijun Ma (Chn) Qinghai TYD 6:01 0:19
33 Christofer Stevenson (Swe) Team Capinordic 6:01 0:19
34 Leopold Konig (Cze) Whirlpool -Author 6:01 0:19
35 Leon Van Bon (Ned) Trek -MP 6:02 0:20
36 Volodymyr Starchyk (Ukr) Ukraine 6:03 0:21
37 Mateusz Mroz (Pol) Poland 6:03 0:21
38 Bruno Rizzi (Ita) Team Utensilnord 6:03 0:21
39 Bostjan Rezman (Slo) Slovenia 6:03 0:21
40 DMITRIY Fofonov (Kaz) Kazakhstan 6:03 0:21
41 Gasper Svab (Slo) Slovenia 6:05 0:23
42 Nickolas Reistad (USA) Jelly Belly 6:05 0:23
43 Hossein Jahabanian (Iri) Tabriz Petrochemicals 6:05 0:23
44 Kristian Sobota (Den) Team Capinordic 6:05 0:23
45 Pawel Cieslik (Pol) Poland 6:05 0:23
46 Massimo Demarin (Cro) Loborika 6:06 0:24
47 Yevceniy Nepomnyachshiy (Kaz) Kazakhstan 6:06 0:24
48 Alexandr Shushemoin (Kaz) Kazakhstan 6:06 0:25
49 Theo Eltink (Ned) Skil-Shimano 6:07 0:25
50 Dan Craven (Nam) Rapha-Condor 6:07 0:25
51 Kristian House (GBr) Rapha-Condor 6:07 0:25
52 Andrea Pagoto (Ita) Team Utensilnord 6:07 0:25
53 Ho Ting Kwok (Hkg) Hong Kong 6:08 0:26
54 Tiaan Kannemeyer (RSA) Neotel/CKT 6:08 0:26
55 Sven De Weerdt (Bel) Cinelli-Down Under 6:09 0:27
56 Hao Liu (Chn) Max Success Sports 6:09 0:27
57 Jianhua Ji (Chn) China 6:09 0:27
58 Wenlong Zhang (Chn) China 6:09 0:27
59 Volodymyr Duma (Ukr) Ukraine 6:09 0:27
60 Frantisek Padour (Cze) Whirlpool -Author 6:10 0:28
61 Tom Veelers (Ned) Skil-Shimano 6:10 0:28
62 Ben Grenda (Aus) Praties 6:10 0:28
63 Johann Rabie (RSA) Neotel/CKT 6:10 0:28
64 Xitao Ji (Chn) China 6:10 0:28
65 Tomislav Danculovic (Cro) Loborika 6:10 0:28
66 Petr Bencik (Cze) Whirlpool -Author 6:10 0:28
67 Anatoliy Pakhtusov (Ukr) Ukraine 6:11 0:29
68 Shengjun Wu (Chn) Qinghai TYD 6:12 0:30
69 Andrej Omulec (Slo) Slovenia 6:12 0:30
70 Valentin Iglinskiy (Kaz) Kazakhstan 6:12 0:30
71 Carlo Corra (Ita) Team Utensilnord 6:12 0:30
72 Hrvoje Miholjevic (Cro) Loborika 6:13 0:31
73 Biao Liu (Chn) Qinghai TYD 6:13 0:31
74 Bert De Backer (Bel) Skil-Shimano 6:14 0:32
75 Peter Ronsse (Bel) Cinelli-Down Under 6:14 0:32
76 Mehdi Faridi Kovij (Iri) Tabriz Petrochemicals 6:14 0:32
77 Adrian Honkisz (Pol) Poland 6:14 0:32
78 Yevgeniy Sladkov (Kaz) Kazakhstan 6:14 0:32
79 Niki Ostergaard (Den) Team Capinordic 6:15 0:33
80 Steve Houanard (Fra) Skil-Shimano 6:16 0:34
81 Ying Hon Yeung (Hkg) Hong Kong 6:16 0:35
82 Oleksandr Sheydyk (Ukr) Ukraine 6:17 0:35
83 Jacobus Venter (RSA) Trek -MP 6:17 0:35
84 Kristjan Durasek (Cro) Loborika 6:17 0:35
85 Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Trek -MP 6:17 0:35
86 Matthew Rice (Aus) Jelly Belly 6:17 0:35
87 Nathan Earle (Aus) Praties 6:17 0:35
88 Emiliano Donadello (Ita) Team Utensilnord 6:17 0:36
89 Feng Han (Chn) Skil-Shimano 6:17 0:36
90 Kam Po Wong (Hkg) Hong Kong 6:18 0:36
91 Gang Xu (Chn) Max Success Sports 6:18 0:36
92 Wojciech Dybel (Pol) Poland 6:18 0:36
93 Darko Blazevic (Cro) Loborika 6:18 0:36
94 Roger Beuchat (Sui) Neotel/CKT 6:19 0:37
95 David Maree (RSA) Neotel/CKT 6:19 0:37
96 Chun Hing Chan (Hkg) Hong Kong 6:20 0:38
97 Serhiy Honchar (Ukr) Team Utensilnord 6:20 0:38
98 Nikola Aistrup (Den) Team Capinordic 6:20 0:38
99 Logan Hutchings (Nzl) Cinelli-Down Under 6:22 0:40
100 Wang Yip Tang (Hkg) Hong Kong 6:22 0:40
101 Vid Ogris (Slo) Loborika 6:22 0:40
102 Yuriy Metlushenko (Ukr) Ukraine 6:22 0:40
103 Jakub Danacik (Cze) Whirlpool -Author 6:23 0:41
104 Lei Sun (Chn) Max Success Sports 6:24 0:42
105 Matthew Green (GBr) Cinelli-Down Under 6:24 0:42
106 Ben Mather (Aus) Praties 6:24 0:42
107 Eric Van De Meent (Ned) Trek -MP 6:24 0:42
108 Vojtech Dlouhy (Cze) Whirlpool -Author 6:24 0:42
109 Bo Liu (Chn) China 6:24 0:42
110 Pengda Jiao (Chn) Qinghai TYD 6:25 0:43
111 Tigran Korkotyan (Arm) Neotel/CKT 6:25 0:43
112 Guo Hui (Chn) Max Success Sports 6:26 0:44
113 Yilin Liu (Chn) Trek -MP 6:26 0:44
114 Yujian Zhao (Chn) Max Success Sports 6:27 0:45
115 Yue Tu (Chn) Qinghai TYD 6:27 0:45
116 Peng Liu (Chn) China 6:27 0:45
117 Nolan Hoffmann (RSA) Neotel/CKT 6:28 0:46
118 Nazar Jumabekov (Kaz) Kazakhstan 6:28 0:47
119 King Wai Cheung (Hkg) Hong Kong 6:29 0:47
120 Cheng Ji (Chn) Skil-Shimano 6:29 0:47
121 Meiyin Wang (Chn) Trek -MP 6:29 0:47
122 Xiaoyong Dong (Chn) Qinghai TYD 6:29 0:47
123 Andreas Linden (Swe) Team Capinordic 6:30 0:48
124 Michael Fitzgerald (Aus) Cinelli-Down Under 6:33 0:52
125 Lukasz Osiecki (Pol) Poland 6:34 0:52
126 Baoqing Song (Chn) China 6:35 0:53
127 Ruisong Zhang (Chn) Max Success Sports 6:35 0:53
128 Ben Grieve-Johnson (Aus) Praties 6:35 0:53
129 Xueli Jiang (Chn) China 6:39 0:57
130 Siu Wai Ko (Hkg) Hong Kong 6:40 0:58
131 Kui Wei (Chn) Qinghai TYD 6:40 0:58
132 Liam Holohan (GBr) Rapha-Condor 6:42 1:00
133 Christopher 'D Amelio (Aus) Cinelli-Down Under 6:46 1:05
134 Morten Hoberg Nielsen (Den) Team Capinordic 6:47 1:05
135 Hui Zhang (Chn) Max Success Sports 6:48 1:06
136 Chun Te Chiang (Tpe) Giant A.R.T. 6:48 1:06
137 Kuan Hua Lai (Tpe) Giant A.R.T. 6:50 1:08
138 Adam Wadecki (Pol) Team Utensilnord 6:53 1:11
139 Kuei Hsiang Peng (Tpe) Giant A.R.T. 6:53 1:11
140 Wei Kei Chang (Tpe) Giant A.R.T. 6:56 1:15
141 Yen Lin Huang (Tpe) Giant A.R.T. 7:18 1:36
142 Yukihiro Doi (Jpn) Skil-Shimano 7:18 1:36
DNS Ben Greenwood (GBr) Rapha-Condor

 


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