Granfondo China

Wednesday, Mar 01st

Last update06:01:17 AM GMT

Pu Jinxie outsprints Li Ni in Dali

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After two years of consistent trying, Yuxi's own Pu Jinxie has finally managed to score a stage victory in Granfondo Yunnan. After 115km around Erhai Lake in Dali, he was marginally faster than 16-year-old talent Li Ni in a photo finish sprint.

The two protagonists of the day both come from Yunnan and are therefore home riders. They attacked after about 25 km, following a few attempts by former yellow jersey Jia Zhichao, Tegshbayar Batsaikhan and John Cattrall, amongst others. Miga was shadowing Jia Zhichao, and nobody had any major issue when the Kunming youngster Li Ni, 10th in GC, and Pu Jinxie, unranked in GC following a DNF in Yuxi, made a move. Togethef they opened up a gap that would keep on increasing. A group of eight was chasing the duo at some stage, but to no avail. Tugulduur Tuulkhangai, a time trialist, was the only one to set up a successful chase. The 32-year old Mongolian came closer to the two Chinese leaders, but it was a two-against-one battle and he had to settle for third.

In the final sprint, it was very close between Pu Jinxie and Li Ni. The photo finish had to be consulted, and it showed a very small advantage in favour of Pu Jinxie, who was delighted with his first ever stage victory. In the big bunch sprint, Zheng Libin, Spike Huisman, Michael Naert, Tang Longyu and John Cattrall managed to gain a few extra seconds on the rest of the big group that also included Miga and five women, of whom yellow Jersey Solongo Tserenlham proved to be the fastest sprinter as well. Fu Shiqi and Cao Yu came second and third, Kristine Kofman and Jolien Snellen fourth and fifth. Snellen had actually been involved in a crash in the final corner, which ruined her chances for a better placing. All three riders involved were unhurt, however.