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Papok pushes in final sprint to claim ninth stage

author:qinghaihu  publish time:2019-07-22

By: Samuel Turner


Siarhei Papok of Minsk Cycling Club has taken out the ninth stage of the Tour of Qinghai Lake. Daniel Lopez (Burgos BH) took second and Eduard Grosu (Delko Marseille) came in third. Robinson Chalapud (Medellin) is still the leader of the race and maintains the yellow jersey.


Today’s stage began in Menyuan and was a gruelling ordeal to Minle with the 160km route containing three KOM’s. Winding mountain roads and long open straights made for a complex race. In the first stages of the race a breakaway of just two riders occured: Monk Cyrus (Evopro Racing) and Mario Vogt (Sapura Cycling Team). They were never able to exceed a gap of more than three minutes and with five kilometres to go their lead was nullified. A nail-biting finish ensued, with a tight and compact group all vying for a podium. The inevitable sprint saw the Belarusian take the victory.  


“My teammates helped me,” Papok said. “But the last stretch was me. I managed to show my best and win.”


It’s the second podium for Papok who took out third in the sixth stage of the Tour of Qinghai Lake. He said his third place victory motivated him to prove to the world his desire to win and mental resolve. 


“Today, I’m really happy and all the people can see my determination to win,” he told reporters.


With two podiums in the last two days for Minsk, the team is in great spirits. 


“The best feelings we could have,” Papok exclaimed happily. “We feel good and we’re ready to go on.”


Grosu, who has maintained his green jersey, was disappointed in today’s result as a mechanical error with his teammates saw him unable to ride a convincing sprint. He commended his other riders. 


“It was a very fast sprint,” he said. “Too bad that at the last corner my partner Jones had a problem with his chain. I lost some positions and had to do a sprint just to reassemble the position.” 


With a rest day tomorrow, the riders will look forward to some well needed recuperation after nine stages in Qinghai. Irrespective of the break, Papok looks to continue his and Minsk Cycling’s momentum. 


“Everytime I start to win and give my best. Tomorrow there will be a day of rest, but I feel good,” he said. “And I think I will have other opportunities for a victory.”


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