Eryk Latoń managed to finish inside the top 10 on Stage 2 of Tour of Hainan. The race had similar ending to yesterday’s opener, as Andrea Palini took another victory after the mass sprint.
The day’s main breakaway was formed after covering around 50 kilometers. It included Scott Ambrose (Novo Nordisk), Alessandro Malaguti (Nippo – Vini Fantini), Andrea Dal Col (Southeast), Sergey Vlassenko (Vino 4ever), Remy di Gregorio (Team Marseille 13 KTM), Ma Guangtong (Hengxiang Cycling Team) and Andriy Vasylyuk (Ukraina). The peloton kept things under control, as the maximum gap was never bigger than 2:30.
Around halfway point, the escape began to split. First it was Dal Col and di Gregorio who got dropped and later Vasylyuk lost contact with the leading group. When there was only 4 riders left in the lead, Malaguti and Vlassenko decided to go clear. After that move the leaders’ advantage increased to over 2 minutes, but when sprinters’ teams picked up the pace, it wasn’t too long until the breakaway got caught.
With 15 kilometers to go the bunch was all together again. Among the teams who were pulling the main field and were positioning their sprinters for the finale, was CCC Sprandi Polkowice. When it was 3 kilometers remaining, a crash that involved 20 riders, occurred in the peloton. Josef Cerny and Łukasz Owsian went down, but didn’t suffer any serious injuries.
The stage was decided in a bunch sprint finish. For the second consecutive time Andrea Palini turned out to be the fastest and claimed the win. He defeated Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) and Ruslan Tleubayev (Astana). Eryk Latoń, who the day before got 15th, this time sprinted to the top 10 and finished 9th.
It was relatively a calm stage, except for the final 30 kilometers, when many teams wanted to move up front. Our team also made sure that I am well positioned for the sprint and I entered the final kilometer alongside Jarosław Marycz and Grzegorz Stępniak. They helped me find the right position and I was able to finish in the top 10. With every day I feel better and better, so everything is going the right direction – Eryk Latoń said afterwards.