After an impressive action in the last kilometer of racing, Astana went 1-2 on stage 2 of Tour of Hainan. Simone Ponzi was the team’s top finisher, claiming top 20 place.
On the second day of competition the riders faced the longest stage of the race. There were 230 kilometers awaiting, from Xinglong to Haikou. It was another opportunity for the sprinters, but of course the escapees also wanted to try their luck.
Jonas Henttala (Team Novo Nordisk), Roberto Pinheiro da Silva, Murilo Affonso (both Funvic Soul Cycles – Carrefour), Alexandr Osvyannikov (Vino 4ever SKO), Meiyin Wang (Wisdom – Hengxiang Cycling Tean), Sun Xiaolong (Giant-Champion System Pro Cycling) and Kirill Zakharov (Russia) were involved in the breakaway of the day.
At one point they had 7 minutes in hand, but they needed much more to outpace the bunch on such a long stage.
Relatively early, 100km from the finish, two riders decided to pull away from the escape – Affonso and Zakharov. They stayed up front until the final 20 kilometers. After they got caught few attacks were launched from the pack, but the sprinters teams we in the control and made sure that nobody goes clear.
For the second consecutive time it was all decided in the bunch sprint. Riders of CCC Sprandi Polkowice positioned themselves in the front of the group for the finale, but at the end of the day if was Astana that dominated the sprint. Their duo, Alexey Lutsenko and Ruslan Tleubayev attacked after passing the Flamme rouge and created a small gap, which they maintain to the very end. Just before the line Tleubayev started the sprint, finishing off his teammate’s work. Astana went 1-2 and Robert Ferrari (Lampre – Merida) took 3rd.
Simone Ponzi came in in 17th place.