FUZHOU, China, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- Australian cyclist Kaden Groves hit the finish line first in 2 hours 52 minutes and 21 seconds to claim his first stage victory in UCI Tour of Fuzhou here on Friday, while his St George Continental Team ranked the second.
The third stage, from GuiAn Water Park to Central Square of Lianjiang county, covered a distance of 114.6km with two climbs of 28.9kms and 61.2kms, and two sprints of 67.9 kms and 82.6kms.
The peloton started the mountainous climbing 20 kms into the race. Mark John Lexer Galedo from the Philippines 7-11 Roadbike and Lu Shao Hsuan from Slovenian Attaque Team Gusto crossed the two climbs first.
Then the Kolss cycling team controlled the tempo of the peloton before Lu Shao Hsuan and Steven Manuel Cuesta Zamora attacked. The breakaway group led through the two sprints and kept the utmost lead around two minutes.
Four riders attempted to chase the leading group, accelerating the peloton.
Groves finished first with tiny advantage, the stage 2 winner Maris Bogdanovics from Latvian Rietumu Banka-Riga team and opening stage winner Mykhaylo Kononenko from Ukraine Kolss team followed in the second and the third.
As the former U19 Australian National Road Race champion, Groves is the youngest member of St George Continental, which is one of only four UCI continental cycling teams in Australia. He finished third in stage 2, but rushed to the top Friday to prove himself not only in bunch sprints, but also over a wider range of difficult terrains.
The jersey owners remain the same. Kononenko secured the yellow jersey as the best rider of individual overall and green jersey as the best sprinter. Stanislau Bazhkou from Belarus Minsk cycling club kept polka-dot jersey representing the best climber. Fung Ka Hoo from Hong Kong, China, cheered up on the podium wearing the white jersey as the best Chinese rider for the third time of the tour.
On Saturday, the penultimate stage of the five-day race will come to the longest and hardest uphill ride with three climbs, two sprints through a distance of 130.8 kms, including some 600 meters to climb vertically in the last 20 kms.