Champion System Makes Final Day Charge At Tour of China II
Champion System Pro Cycling Team's Cameron Wurf finished fourth overall in the Tour of China II while teammate Anuar Manan was second in the points classification after making a valiant effort in Sunday's final stage.
Manan started the last stage of the six-day race with a 10-point deficit to Team Type 1's Alexander Serebryakov. But the Malaysian pulled even by winning the first two sprints after his Champion System teammates worked hard to chase down breakaways that threatened to take the points. But when four riders escaped the pack after the second of three intermediate sprints, Manan's chances of winning the blue points jersey began to diminish.
"Just before the sprint, Anuar had a puncture and although he got a good change, he spent precious energy chasing," Champion System Assistant Director Chris Wherry said. "So it all came down to the final sprint for the stage win."
But a second puncture – this time for Aaron Kemps with five kilometers to go in the 90 km race – dashed that plan.
"We lost the most valuable part to our plan, the last lead out man," Wherry said. "So Anuar had to freelance for the finish without Kemps. But he had run out of gas after the earlier sprints and returning from a flat."
Serebryakov won the field sprint three seconds after Oscar Clark (BMC-Hincapie Sportswear) took the stage win from the leading group of four. Manan finished 14th to wind up nine points behind Serebryakov in the points competition.
Wherry said despite the two untimely punctures, he was pleased with the team's effort in a race that saw Wurf finish second in the prologue before slipping to fourth after a sixth-place finish in the Stage 4 individual time trial. Manan added a third place finish on Stage 1, Gang Xu finished sixth in the best Chinese rider competition and Champion System wound up seventh in the team standings.
"It was a great team effort," Wherry said. "The boys controlled the bunch well and did a great job. I'm very proud of them."
Prologue winner Stefan Schumacher (Christina Watches-Onfone) kept his lead all the way to the finish to win the race overall.