Branislau Samoilau finished 15in in the hardest stages of Tour of Hainan. It was dominated by the Lampre-Merida duo and Matej Mohoric claimed the win.
198-kilometer Stage 6 was going to be the decisive one for the general classification, due to cat. 1 climb late in the stage, with the top just 12 km from the finish.
It was also an important day for mountains classification contenders, including Kamil Małecki. He was part of the initial break and managed to win first cat. 1 KOM. Afterwards he returned to the bunch and let other riders fight in the escape. He moved to 2nd place in the race for the Polka Dot jersey.
The breakaway which went clear included Fredrik Strand Galta (Delko Marseille Provence KTM), Alex Diniz (Funvic Soul Cycles – Carrefour), Guangtong Ma (Wisdom – Hengxiang Cycling Team), Oleksiy Kasyanov, Yong Jian Wu (both Jilun Shakeland Cycling Team).
Astana was very eager to battle for the win and brought the race back with 25 kilometers to go. On the climb the leader of the Kazakh team, Alexey Lutsenko, attacked, alongside Przemysław Niemiec (Lampre-Merida) and Mauricio Ortega (RTS – Monton Racing). The trio crested the top together, as Lutsenko was first at KOM (cat.1).
In the downhill Ortega’s descending skills didn’t let him stay with Lutsenko and Niemiec, while few kilometers from the line, Niemiec’s teammate, Matej Mohoric bridged across.
3-man sprint decided who will take the honors. Lampre-Merida took advantage of the fact that there were two of them in the front, going 1-2 at the line. Mohoric won ahead of Niemiec and Lutsenko was third.
Branislau Samoilau managed to hold on in the chasing group and arrived 50 seconds after the winner, in 15th place. He sits in 14th overall.