It was another bunch sprint at the Tour of Guangxi today and Fernando Gaviria (Quickstep-Floors) made it 2 stage wins out of 2. Max Walscheid (Team Sunweb) placed 2nd in the stage 2 sprint with Wouter Wippert (Cannondale-Drapac) completing the podium.
Stage 2 was slightly longer than yesterday’s opening stage of the Tour of Guangxi but today’s 156km route was yet again, rather flat. The only incline that could possibly make a difference came over the final kilometer of the stage but it was nothing to severe to deter the sprinters.
So after a number of early attacks where we had Daniel Teklehaimanot also involved, 3 riders eventually got away from the peloton. Quickstep-Floors controlled the gap all day and then nearer to the finish in Nanning the other sprint teams started to contribute, ensuring the break was caught with 10km to go. Our African Team has Ryan Gibbons down as our designated sprinter for Gaungxi, but after his crash yesterday, and considering today’s slight rise to the line, Mekseb Debesay was also able to get involved in the final.
While Gaviria showed he was just that step ahead of everyone else again, Debesay still finished strongly against some of the more recognized sprinters in the race, placing 5th at the line. A good result by our Eritrean all-rounder.
Mekseb Debesay – Rider
The race was good today. Our plan was to prepare Ryan for the sprint but unfortunately after his crash yesterday he wasn’t able to do the sprint. We did plan that if Ryan was not feeling well enough to make the sprint that I would be the 2nd option for the final. We were in a good position right up to 2km to go behind Bernie Eisel, he did a really good job and it was the perfect leadout that allowed me to get this result today.