Adrian Kurek made his presence known in Tour of Hainan again, by riding in the break in stage 7. Another two “riders in orange” were active in the sprint, taking top 15 spots.
Stage 7 was second shortest stage of the race, with just 127km on the menu. There were two KOMs (cat. 3 and cat.2), but they were both located early in the race. Kamil Małecki, 2nd in mountains classification was wearing the Polka Dot jersey, since race leader, Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) had the yellow jersey on his shoulders.
On the first climb, 6km into the stage, the breakaway of the day was formed and it included Adrian Kurek, as well as Thomas Vaubourzeix (Delko Marseille Provence KTM), Bernard Sulzberger (Drapac Professional Cycling), Taras Voropayev (Vino 4ever SKO), Guangtong Ma (Wisdom – Hengxiang Cycling Team), Mykhaylo Kononenko (Kolss BDC Team) and Anton Samokhvalov (Russia). The Russian didn’t spent too much time in the front, as he decided to wait for the bunch after second KOM.
The 6-man escape gained more than 3 minutes of advantage and the gap stayed at the 2-minute level for most of the race.
It started to decline with 20km to go and Kurek was brought back with 7km remaining. Vaubourzeixa and Kononenko stayed a little bit longer up front, but they also had to accept the fact that it will be the sprinters to fight for the glory.
For the fourth time in this year’ edition, Max Welscheid (Giant-Alpein) got the win, but this time the battle was very thigh one. He outsprinted Brenton Jones (Drapac Professional Cycling), by an inch and Rafael Andriato (Wilier – Southeast) finished third.
Two “riders in orange” finished in the top 15, as Patryk Stosz was 9th and Simone Ponzi “11”. Branislau Samoilau kept his 14th place overall, while Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) retained the yellow jersey.