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Dupont sprints to victory in the opening stage of the Tour of Qinghai Lake

author:qinghaihu  publish time:2023-07-09

(By Tom Mccracken)


Thimoty Dupont of Tareletto-Isorex has claimed the opening stage of the 2023 Tour of Qinghai Lake and looks to be the sprinter to beat in year’s edition.


The Belgium rider outsprinted Latvian Martin Pluto (ABLOC CT) and Italian fast man Atilio Viviani (Corratect Selle-Italia) for stage honours.


Along with taking the stage win Dupont will also wear the yellow leaders’ jersey in tomorrow’s stage beginning in Douba, whilst the green sprinters jersey will be put on ‘loan’ to Pluto.


Thanakhan Chaiyasombat (Thailand National Road Team) leads the best placed Asian category and will aim to defend his blue jersey in tomorrow’s challenging stage.


How it happened


Riders were greeted by hot conditions for the first stage in Qinghai’s capital of Xining for the ‘China Sports Lottery Xining Circuit Race’, consisting of eight laps totalling 110km plus three intermediate sprints.


The circuit is the lowest point of altitude in this year’s Tour of Qinghai, Xining sits just under 2,300metres of elevation and provided the perfect opportunity to commence this year’s edition.


The peloton enjoyed the low altitude in Xining and made quick work of the fast, flowing circuit that was on offer.


Early attacks were aplenty but Fabio Duarte (Team Medellin-EPM) and Campos Lucena Ronial (Lin Ning Star) managed to hold a 30-second gap for three laps before eager riders attacked dragging the peloton back to the front of the race.


With over halfway gone a larger group moved off the front, forcing Tarteletto-Isorex to quickly closedown the dangerous group and signalled their intent for a bunch sprint.


The peloton battled hot conditions but that didn’t stop two Dutch riders from ABLOC CT, Martin Rasenberg and Nils Sincheck attacked clear with three laps remaining.


The Dutch duo rode efficiently and secured the remaining intermediate sprint points, although Tartelleto-Isorex ensured the opening stage in Xining resulted in a sprint finish.


The Belgium outfit hauled in the ABLOC pair on the penultimate lap, and delivered Dupont for victorious sprint.


Dupont’s performance should come as no surprise with multiple victories to his name in Europe but is wary of Qinghai’s altitude and heat.


“Today It was quite good but the altitude hit me also the warmth but I feel very well today and had a really good team and I’m happy to win the first stage,’ Dupont said.


“For me it’s a nice experience and I love it a lot for my first time in Qinghai”.


Dupont and Tareletto-IsoRex will have their work cut out for them as they aim to defend the leader’s jersey in tomorrow’s stage from Douba to Guide where riders will tackle 132km, featuring just under 2,000metres of climbing coming from the sole uncategorised climb of Lajishan Mountain taking riders up to 3,768metres of elevation.

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