Hindley secures overall victory for Mitchelton-SCOTT at the Tour of Fuzhou
A standout performance from Hindley and the team on the penultimate stage saw the 21-year-old attack late to take the stage win and the race leaders jersey with the team’s focus shifting immediately to the defense of the yellow jersey on today’s final race day.
A fast 127kilometre final stage was filled with potential hazards and quite stressful, but the team rallied around Hindley and was happy to see the final come down to a bunch sprint with the stage win going to Maris Bogdanovics (Rietumu-Bank-Riga).
Hindley’s overall win was augmented by Liu Jiankun cementing his position as the best placed Chinese rider on the general classification, finishing in 16th place and just reward for five days of strong support within the team.
“It was a bit crazy in the first hour of racing,” said Hindley. “But the whole team did their best to cover moves to a man were fantastic. We knew that with the sprinters teams having an interest we weren’t the only ones that had to ride at the front.”
“There were a lot of riders that were within a minute of GC and we needed to keep a close eye on them, it was quite nerve wracking, but we got through it. I got caught up in a crash and so it was only certain once I crossed the line, for sure it was a big relief.”
Hindley’s first professional stage race win has come at the end of a long, but successful season for Mitchelton-SCOTT and sport director Dave Sanders praised the blossoming relationships within the Chinese/Australian team.
“It’s pretty exciting to see this partnership developing into something special,” said Sanders. “To win this event outright and also have the best finishing Chinese rider in a home soil race has made a big statement about the future of this team”
“All of the guys have been fantastic over the last couple of weeks here, coming from some disappointments at the Tour of Hainan to performing so well here in Fuzhou has really shown the character of the squad.”
Tour of Fuzhou stage five results:
1. Maris Bogdanovics (Rietumu-Banka-Riga) 02:44:10
2. Andriy Kulyk (Kolss-Cycling-Team) ST
3. Mykhaylo Kononenko (Kolss-Cycling-Team) ST
18. Jai Hindley (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST
Tour of Fuzhou final general classification:
1. Jai Hindley (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 14:18:33
2. Ka Hoo Fung (Hong-Kong-China) +0:04
3. Stanislau Bazhkou Minsk-Cycling-Club) +0:15