Jonathan Clarke (Floyd’s Pro Cycling) took the stage victory in the final sprint of the selected group, Giovanni Lonardi (Nippo Vini Fantini Faizanè) and Nathan Earle (Israel Cycling Academy) took 2nd and 3rd. The Australian is now leading the overall by 4 seconds.
“Last year I was second in GC, I was happy but it was also a little bit heart-broken to lose it. I am happy now, I win a stage and it is my first-ever professional win, and I have been a professional for 12 years. I am used to doing the work for other riders and this time I win,” says Jonathan Clarke, the stage winner.
“And we have a new team, Floyd’s Pro Cycling. We already have a win back in America with some podiums, the team’s really happy. We also have Travis McCabe, he is a good sprinter. I think for us, we already exceeded the expectation a bit, but we will keep trying to win!”
We had a really fast start this morning. No rider was allowed to go until Shotaro Iribe (Japan National Team) and Samuel Volkers (Memil – CCN Pro Cycling) finally made it with 85km to go. The duo soon built up a healthy lead as peloton were content to see them take the points in the intermediate sprint. Manzana Postobon and Kinan Cycling Team were in the front of the peloton.
The gap once reached 2 minutes and a half, but it was then controlled by the Colombians as they approached the day’s first KOM, just under 30km into the stage. On the way to the first KOM, the gap was ever-decreasing, then all together with 20km to go. Afterward, riders fought for the points at the second KOM, they got the points then back in the peloton.
Shortly, Diego Antonio Ochoa (Manzana Postobon), James Piccoli (Elevate – KHS Pro Cycling), Nicolas Zukowsky (Floyd’s Pro Cycling), Salvador Guardiola (Kinan Cycling Team), Nariyuki Masuda (Japan national team) made a new leading group. When the quintet was about to be neutralized at the last 5km, James Piccoli attacked again and Émile Jean (Floyd’s Pro Cycling) followed his move with 3km to go. But it was all together again and the crucial corner before the sprint became the decisive part of the race. Jonathan Clarke (Floyd’s Pro Cycling) proved to be the fastest after the 3rd place last year.