Marco Canola Wins Green Jersey at 2016 Tour de Taiwan
Over five days of tense racing at the Tour de Taiwan, Marco Canola of the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team came away with Overall Victory in the Sprinter’s Green Jersey Competition. The Italian sprinter stayed consistent through the changing terrain of the race to finish with 39 points, seven points clear of the second place finisher.
Stage 5, the final stage of the race, started at the beautiful Jianshanpi Resort on the outskirts of Tainan City before traversing 146.2 km south to Wutai Rukai Museum in the heart of the Taiwanese high country. Saving the hardest challenge for the end of the race, the final stage featured two category 2 climbs and one category 1 climb, that also served as the finish of the race.
To protect Canola’s position at the top of the Green Jersey competition, the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team sent new recruit Daniel Eaton into the break to monitor the front of the race, and ensure the intermediate sprint points would be swept up before the peloton had a chance to compete for them. The tactic worked, and Eaton’s break stayed away from the field for the majority of the day, eventually gaining almost seven minutes on the field.
By the final climb, the break had fallen apart, and Eaton went ahead solo, only getting caught at 5 km from the line. The strong ride bodes well for the young rider as he moves into his first season with the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team.
The rest of the Blue Train worked hard to keep Canola in contention on the final climb, and succeeded in bringing him across the line ahead of his Green Jersey rivals.
The Green Jersey is a great reward for the team who worked hard throughout the five-day race. With splintered and disorganised racing, the team took on the burden of keeping their sprinters in contention at the front of the race each day. Mike Tamayo, Team General Manager, was satisfied to leave Taiwan with the Green Jersey, “As a team of sprinters here we focused on stages and the sprinters jersey. We had great success with two 2nd places and the green by end of week.”
Reflecting on the 2016 edition of the Tour of Taiwan, Tamayo praised the organisers in upping the challenge of the stages, “We’ve been racing in Taiwan for a long time with the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team. The courses are getting harder and harder every year. We’re looking forward to returning.”