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Cycling | SA Cycling

Mekseb Debesay © Getty Images

Debesay sprints to fifth place

It was another bunch sprint at the Tour of Guangxi on Friday and Fernando Gaviria (Quickstep-Floors) made it two stage wins out of two.

Max Walscheid (Team Sunweb) placed second in the stage 2 sprint with Wouter Wippert (Cannondale-Drapac) completing the podium.

Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka's Mekseb Debesay placed fifth.

Stage 2 was slightly longer than Thursday’s opening stage of the Tour of Guangxi but Friday’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 DiData had Daniel Teklehaimanot also involved, three 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.

The African Team had Ryan Gibbons down as their designated sprinter for Gaungxi, but after his crash on Thursday, and considering Friday’s slight rise to the line, 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 recognised sprinters in the race, placing fifth at the line -- a good result by the team's Eritrean all-rounder.

"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 second 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," Debesay said after the race.


1 GAVIRIA Fernando Quick-Step Floors 3:43:54
2 WALSCHEID Max Team Sunweb
3 WIPPERT Wouter Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team
5 DEBESAY Mekseb Dimension Data
31 GIBBONS Ryan Dimension Data
38 TEKLEHAIMANOT Daniel Dimension Data
72 MORTON Lachlan Dimension Data
73 EISEL Bernhard Dimension Data
76 THOMSON Jay Robert Dimension Data
82 DOUGALL Nick Dimension Data


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