Lagkuti wins Qinghai Lake crown, Mareczko takes final stage
Italian Jakub Mareczko sprints to third stage win at the 15th Tour of Qinghai Lake, as Ukrainian Sergiy Lagkuti tops final general classification...
In just under two hours (1:58:40), Polish-born Italian sprinter Mareczko (Wilier Triestina-Southeast) claimed his third stage win of the 15th ‘Qinghai Rural Credit Cup’ Tour of Qinghai Lake (UCI 2.HC).
Ukrainian Sergiy Lagkuti (Kolss-BDC) had lifted the yellow jersey from teammate and compatriot Vitaliy Buts after finishing third in the stage 12 individual time trial, and ended the race atop general classification to win his second stage race of 2016, including the Tour of Ukraine (2.2) last month.
Buts had held the yellow jersey since stage 3, as well as the points jersey since his stage 4 win until eventual green jersey winner Daniele Colli (Nippo-Vini Fantini) took it from him on stage 11.
Following the final stage, the 31-year-old Lagkuti was overjoyed to take the overall win.
“I am very lucky today to finish the Tour of Qinghai Lake in the yellow jersey,” he said. “The team now is all very tired. We will absolutely celebrate the yellow jersey, but in which way to celebrate we are still not sure.”
Colombian Mauricio Ortega (RTS-Santic) owned the mountains classification since day the opening KOM, while two-time stage winner Yevgeniy Gidich (Vino 4ever SKO) claimed the blue jersey for the best Asian rider.
In Saturday's finale the 22-year-old Mareczko outsprinted the race’s second all-time stage winner Marko Kump (Lampre-Merida) and Marco Benfatto (Androni Giocattoli-Spidermec) on the 95km Baiyin circuit race to close the 13-stage, 1,916km UCI Asia Tour road race on Saturday, July 30.
“This race is so very important to my career,” Mareczko explained to Eurosport. “To finish a race of this distance and altitude will only make me a better rider for the future and to come away with three stage wins makes me very happy.”
Jakub Mareczko's Wilier Triestina-Southeast teammates surround him at the stage 13 finish after the Italian sprinter won his third stage of the 15 Tour of Qinghai Lake - Photo: Adrian HoeEurosport
Mareczko will now turn his attention toward racing in Europe before returning to China to race the Tour of Hainan (2.HC) in October and the Tour of Taihu Lake (2.1) in November.
For Kump, who won five stages and the points classification last year, his two wins and fourth-place on points is a success for the 27-year-old, who is enjoying his second stint riding on a WorldTour team, this time for Lampre, who tripled its win total from last year’s race after Federico Zurlo (ITA) also claimed a stage (7).
“Every time I do a stage or race, I try to do my best,” said Kump, who raced for the Slovenian-registered UCI Continental team Adria Mobil last year after spending two years with Tinkoff-Saxo. “Like I already said, this year was very difficult.
“I was suffering from the first day following the crash at the end of stage 1 and then in the mountains. This year was also more difficult because the race had better sprinters than last year.
“From the beginning, I did day by day and in the end we are happy we won three stages for our team and three second places – we are very happy.”
Ukrainian Sergiy Lagkuti (Kolss-BDC) wrapped up the 2016 Tour of Qinghai Lake with a stage victory and overall race win - Photo: Adrian HoeEurosport
Stage 13 Classification
1. Jakub Mareczko, ITA, Wilier Triestina-Southeast, 1:58:40
2. Marko Kump, SLO, Lampre-Merida, s.t.
3. Marco Benfatto, ITA, Androni Giocattoli-Spidermec, s.t.
1. Sergiy Lagkuti, UKR, Kolss-BDC, 53:42:58
2. Matej Mugerli, SLO, Synergy Baku Cycling Project, 0:37
3. Vitaliy Buts, UKR, Kolss-BDC 1:00
Race Leader (Yellow Jersey): Sergiy Lagkuti, UKR, Kolss-BDC
Points Leader (Green Jersey): Daniele Colli, ITA, Nippo-Vini Fantini
Mountains leader (Polka Dot Jersey): Mauricio Ortega, COL, RTS-Santic
Best Asian Rider (Blue Jersey): Yevgeniy Gidich, KAZ, Vino 4ever SKO
Teams classification: Kolss-BDC, 131:13:08