Stage two played out in a similar way as the opening stage, with three riders breaking away shortly after the start and quickly opened up a 2’40” lead over the bunch with CCC Team riders, which was their maximum advantage.
The peloton made sure to keep the trio on a short leash and with 30 kilometers to go, the main group started to pull the breakaway back. Eventually, the last man standing was caught with three kilometers to go and as expected, the stage ended in a field sprint.
CCC Team moved up to the front of the bunch to fight for positions for the long, finishing straight and both Jonas Koch and Jakub Mareczko were up there in the mix to contest the sprint. In such a fast and flat finale, the right timing was the key and Koch did a great job of launching his sprint in a good moment to take fourth place on the line, with his Italian teammate finishing just behind him in sixth.
Quotes from the Finish Line:
“It was a pretty straightforward and easy stage with a flat terrain and a small breakaway to control. We had a headwind throughout most of the day so, you could save a lot of energy if you rode inside the peloton. The final four kilometers were all straight and the finale was quite messy with many riders trying to fight for positions. My goal was to stay on the right side of the road and follow the wheels of the best sprinters and that strategy paid off as I took fourth place. I feel that I’m in a good shape and I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s stage which I believe should suit me.”
“There are many sprinters here in China so, fighting for positions in the end is very fierce and chaotic. Today it was me and Jonas who were supposed to sprint in the end because we knew it would be very hard to take control in the finale and do a typical lead out. We decided that it would best if we both tried and that turned out quite well. I started the sprint from too far back and had to battle through the group but, I was still able to finish in sixth place which is a nice result. I feel that my legs are getting stronger as the race goes on and we will continue to fight in the next days.”
Gree-Tour of Guangxi
Stage 2 Beihai > Qinzhou (152.3km)
Top 3: 1. Daniel McLay (EF EducationFirst) 2. Pascal Ackermann (BORA – hansgrohe) 3. Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-SCOTT)
CCC Team top 3: 4. Jonas Koch 6. Jakub Mareczko 20. Kamil Gradek