General Classification Podium for Alzate at Tour of Taihu Lake
The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling team was on a mission at Tour of Taihu Lake, to place Carlos Alzate in strong position to contend for the GC win. By the end of the race Alzate racked up five top-10 finishes, and fought his way to 3rd on the overall GC.
How it happened
The opening prologue was a flat 5.3km ITT that the team chose to do on standard road bikes. Alzate came out strong, with a winning time through until a stiff headwind slowed him down in the final kilometer, ultimately finishing 7th on the day.
Stage 1 started the week’s rainy conditions; with other teams losing riders to crashes the boys in blue managed to all stay upright. In spite of being boxed in at the 350m mark, Sebastian Haedo finished 4th, and Alzate 10th.
The rain and cold continued to set in on stage 2, making the 117.5km stage even harder. While on the road Alzate took 3 seconds of time bonus notching up his GC standing. In the end the flat circuit race came down to a sprint, with the team positioning Alzate for another top-10 finish.
The third stage threw a change of weather at the team with the rain subsiding and temperatures reaching the 70s. A tough stage, none-the-less, the team helped Alzate earn another 2 seconds on the road to move up the GC ladder.
Another big sprint finish for occurred on stage 4, this time with the Wilier and Nipo-Vini Fantini teams controlling the whole day. Ultimately Alzate fought his way to 5th place, and held onto 3rd in the general classification.
Over the 148km of stage 5 the men had some challenges from slight illness to crashes. No doubt the rainy weather and fast tempo for the day was no help.
Stage 6 brought some redemption from the previous day with Alzate earning 3 seconds in intermediate sprints, and moving back into 3rd overall on the GC.
The final stage of the race was the hardest, with two climbs, a sprint finish, and harsh weather causing slippery road conditions. In the end Alzate finished 3rd on overall GC and managed 5 top-10 results for the week.
Watch the live streamed stages thanks to InCycle here