Othman Fourth on Tour de Taiwan Stage 3; Feng Shines in Hometown
Champion System Pro Cycling Team - Asia's first and only pro continental team - lodged its best finish so far at the Tour de Taiwan when Adiq Othman finished fourth Wednesday on Stage 3. Teammate and Changhua County local Chun Kai Feng featured in the two main breakaways on the aggressive stage.
Just 10 kilometers into the 154 km race, the riders faced a short, category two climb. Feng seized the opportunity to shine before his hometown and launched from the peloton while eight riders followed. Feng, winner of the king of the mountains competition in last year's race, was first to summit the climb. The escapees built a lead of more than three-and-a-half minutes before getting caught 75 km from the finish.
Furious attacks and counterattacks quickly ensued, splintering the peloton into pieces. When another small break slipped up the road inside the final 30 km, Feng again made the group. Martyn Irvine (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team) attacked from this group and Feng was the only rider able to grab his wheel. With 10 km to go, their gap hovered around 45 seconds but ultimately the duo was caught four km from the finish.
Immediately, the Champion System riders switched gears and designed a lead out for Othman.
"The boys did an awesome job to get Adiq in position for the short steep kick to the line," Champion System Assistant Director Chris Wherry said.
With a perfect line set up by his teammates, Othman was sitting third with 100 meters to go. But when another rider hooked the Malaysian hard, Othman had to go the long way around and lost his line. Shahrul Mat Amin (Terengganu Cycling Team) won the stage.
Wherry filed a protest with the officials regarding the finish, but the appeal was denied.
"It was a shame he didn't get a shot at the win," Wherry said. "Hopefully it will just fuel the fire for Adiq in the next two stages and, no matter what, it was still a good day for the team."
Kirill Pozdnyakov (Synergy Baku Cycling Project) held onto the leader's jersey for the third consecutive day. Feng finished 79th, 1:19 behind. Othman is Champion System's best placed rider overall in ninth place, 25 seconds behind.
Thursday's stage is 115 km and runs from Taichung City Hall to Metropolitan Park.