The Rise of the MCT on Stage 3: Leping, the Capital of Porcelain
The 9th PSBC Tour of Poyang Lake 2018 started its third stage on Leping, Jingdezhen, the capital of porcelain, today on September 14th. This stage could be seen as the strengthening version of yesterday’s race. The reasons are the following. Firstly, it is the first flat race in the Tour. Those who are good at breaking away in time trail race could finally show their capabilities in today’s race. Secondly, the three intermediate sprints in today’s race mean a lot to the racers whose accumulated points on the intermediate sprint are so close. Thirdly, the multiple single laps force the riders to ride at a faster pace.
赛程伊始，前两圈主车群亢奋异常，突围车手发动的零星进攻都被主集团悉数瓦解，主集团的单圈匀速一度高达48km/h。到了第三圈中国CCN熊猫车队彭源堂顺利抢到第一个途中冲刺点，拿下关键的5个冲刺积分。集团完成第一个途中冲刺点之后速度有所放缓，此时31号车手号伊瓦尔·尼尔斯 (猴城乐园)与141号斯蒂芬（CCN梅达勒）成功突围，二人在突围一圈之后领先大团约25秒便放弃突围回到集团中。赛程临近第二个途中冲刺点，熊猫CCN车队克雷格和祖丹恩·亚历山大 (中国香港 捷迅车队）再次发动进攻，2km后主集团中三名车手相继突围尝试追赶此前突围的二人、并在几分钟后五人胜利会师，克雷格更是刷下了最后两个途中冲刺点的头名，获得10分冲刺积分。
In the beginning of race, the whole bunch was extremely excited. Several breakaways were all caught by the peloton. The average speed of a single lap even reached 48 kilometers per hour. And PENG Yuen Tang of CPD got the first intermediate sprint on lap three, gaining the critical 5 points for intermediate sprint. After the first intermediate sprint, the peloton slowed down a little bit. In the meantime, number 31 rider SLIK Ivar Niels of MCT and number 141 rider STEFANOVIC Stefan of CCM broke away. After breaking away for about a single lap, the two chose to return to the peloton when their time gap with the bunch was 25 seconds. When approaching the second intermediate sprint, Craig of CPD and Jordann Alexander of XSU attacked again. After 2 kilometers’ race, three riders from the peloton escaped sequentially and tried to catch up with the former two breakaways. Several minutes later, the five reunited. At last, Craig won the second and third intermediate sprint, gaining 10 points in total.
On the latter part of the race, STG led the peloton, reducing the time gap between the peloton and leading group to 90 seconds from the former 150 seconds within only two laps. And the leading group of the five was caught by the peloton in the penultimate lap. On the last left turn of the race, MCT acted first to occupy the prime position, sending its sprinter Christiaan to the seat of stage winner. So the Blue Jersey on the name of the Postal Savings Bank of China was handed over to Christiaan from its former owner STG. Besides, under the assistance of Craig’s powerful breakaway, his teammate PENG Yuen Tang of CPD won the Orange Jersey which is on the name of Hanteng Auto. CHEN Chien Liang of ACT won the Pink Jersey for the greater china leader. As there was no KOM, SLIK Ivar Niels of MCT remained the owner of Polka Dot Jersey. In this stage, the MCT broke the spell of always being the second in last year’s Tour. And they won the Blue Jersey, Polka Dot Jersey, and the team title at one time, which made them the biggest winner of Leping Stage.
What waits for the 132 riders in Jing’an, Yichun Stage is the mountain race with one class 2 and one class 3 KOM. This stage will definitely make a great difference on general points and sprint points. Let us see what will happen.