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Touf of Hainan: Owsian and Honkisz in top 25 on the hardest stage

Łukasz Owsian and Adrian Honkisz finished in the top 25 on the hardest stage of Tour of Hainan. Stage 8 was won by the Kazakh rider, Andrey Zeits (Astana). 

Soon after the gun, two riders managed to break clear. Oleksandr Polivoda (Ukraine) and Meng Yan (Hengxiang Cycling Team) attacked early into the 205-kilometer stage. Later they were joined by  Sergey Vlassenko (Vino 4ever), Zhang Zheng (Hengxiang Cycling Team) and Zhen Wang (Beijing Innova Cycling Team). Three category climbs and three intermediate sprints were awaiting them.

The leading group created over 6-minute gap. On the second ascent the escape broke apart and only Polivoda was able to stay in the front. This is also where two sprinters of CCC Sprandi Polkowice, Eryk Latoń and Grzegorz Stępniak were in difficulties and lost contact with main group. Łukasz Owsian was feeling very well on that climb and was one of the first riders to reach the top.

Polivoda’s chances of going all the way were very slim. With 60 kilometers remaining his lead was only 3 minutes. He got caught at the bottom of the last hill, around 20 kilometers from the line.

Another move came from Andrey Zeits (Astana) and Valerio Conti (Lampre-Merida). The former attacked solo and crested the summit in first position. He maintained it until the finish and took the win. The chasing group – which included Julien El Fares (Team Marseille 13 KTM) and Francisco Mancebo (Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling Team – Al Ahli Club) was not very far though, since it came in only 2 seconds behind.

Łukasz Owsian and Adrian Honkisz arrived in 20th and 22nd place respectively, 20 seconds back. In general classification they are 23rd and 24th (39 seconds behind), while Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) managed to protect the overall lead. Coming to the last, flat stage of the race he is 9 seconds ahead of Zeits and 12 ahead of El Fares.