Irish rider Stephen Clancy (Team Novo Nordisk) went close to the biggest victory of his career when he was caught with just 200 metres remaining of the third stage of the Tour of China II (2.1).
The Limerickman had been part of a seven-rider which had gotten clear after a frantic first hour of racing on the 94-kilometre stage starting and finishing in Changde Hanshou, a city of 5-million people in northwestern Hunan Province. However, within sight of the finishing line, the 24 year-old was caught by the peloton.
The stage was won by Marco Benfatto (Androni – Sidermec – Bottecchia) ahead of Scott Sunderland (IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness team) with Maris Bogdanovics (Rietumu Banka – Riga) in third.
Clancy finished in the bunch in 53rd place and sits in 81st place overall. Kevin Rivera (Androni – Sidermec – Bottecchia) leads the race with two stages remaining.
Team Novo Nordisk Sport Director Lionel Marie said afterwards: “Seven riders in a breakaway get caught 200m from the finish, and Clancy is in it. A good move for him. Everybody else was working like a train for Quentin in the sprint, and it’s a special mention for Gerd today because he is always 100 per cent and always pulling first.”