Tour of Poyang Lake Day 5 - YingtanAnother cold day dawned on the team in Yingtan in the shadow of Dragon Tiger Mountain. But as per yesterday the sun eventually poked through driving temperatures up to the (just) double digits. The wind stayed away making conditions quite pleasant overall.
The course was a 400 metre straight followed by a right turn onto a 25 km undulating circuit around the base of the mountain; three laps of that and then a right hand turn back up the straight to the finish. The only real trick was avoiding the large hole on the inside line of the final corner - predictions had at least one rider destroying their bike there but luckily that didn't come true.
All reports said the course was very picturesque with huge cliffs and the towering mountain.
Lap one was relatively tame but Scott went for a solo ride off the front only to be brought back in time for the sprint point at the end of the lap. One surprise for riders new to the course was a concrete column supporting an aqueduct just around a sharp corner.
Lap two started pretty much the same way - Scott off the front again but was quickly bought back - apparently not the smartest move but he is young (not really) and he will learn. Dylan followed a few moves and made sure no-one got away - the Mongolian team and City of Perth were keen to ensure that they stayed in contention for the overall teams prize.
All the action happened on lap three - Eddy attacked three times but was ruthlessly hunted down by everyone. There was significant frustration with the negative bike riding with other teams preferring to see Eddy lose rather than win the race on their own terms.
Coming into the final kilometres Dylan rode off the front to stretch the bunch a bit (which worked!) but was chased down by City of Perth and the Mongolian team and was caught but still continued drive the pace. At about 2 km to go, Eddy went to the front with Will glued to his wheel and proceeded to belt everyone for the next kilometre. Eddy then peeled off, unleashing the Will on world. Will rounded the final corner in about 8th place and then launched with 350 metres to go, comfortably rolling the opposition - winning by about a bike length with enough time to give a victory salute.
Final GC placings:
5: Eddy Hollands (0:16)
9: Will Heath (1:33)
29: Jake Flynn (1:37)
36: Scott Newman (1:37)
44: Dylan Pierre-Humbert (5:48)
Team overall place: 4th (2:54)
A great tour for a team with three members on their first international tour - one who has riding B grade three weeks ago; another who has been riding for a year; and the other who came from the streets of Kalgoorlie addicted to bananas.
Next week most of the boys are off to the Tour of Idjen in Indonesia.
Random quote for the day: "I think we need to teach the Chinese how to make lamingtons."