Cameron Wurf of the Champion System Pro Cycling Team dropped a spot in the general classification, from third to fourth, after Saturday’s eighth stage of the Tour of Qinghai Lake.
Champion System General Manager Ed Beamon said the 201 kilometer race was a deceptively difficult stage with an early category three climb, a "hors categorie" climb that reached upwards of 3,700 meters, followed by a long, 129 km descent to the finish in Zhangye. Through the first intermediate sprint, Giovanny Manuel Baez (EPM-UNE) attacked and took a three-second time bonus to move into second overall. Wurf finished 18th on the day with Artur Ershov (RVL) winning the stage. Hossein Alizadeh (Tabriz Petrochemical Team) held onto the overall lead for a sixth day.
With Baez’s jump in the overall standings, Champion System aims to regain Wurf’s podium position, Beamon said, by also going after intermediate sprint bonuses.
“Cameron seems faster than the other GC (general classification) guys, so if we have the chance we'll concentrate on the bonus sprints to try to move Cam back up,” Beamon said.
Sunday’s 117 km stage starts and finishes in Zhangye and features two intermediate sprints.