BIRD ISLAND, Qinghai, July 26 (Xinhua) -- Australian Cycling Academy's sprinter Cameron Scott overcame the initial hors categorie climb to become the second Aussie to claim a stage win at 17th Tour of Qinghai Lake on Thursday.
The third of four straight mountain stages wrapped up with an uphill sprint finish awarded to Australian track and road cyclist Scott (Australian Cycling Academy) over Stage 3 winner and current Romanian road race champion Eduard Grosu (Nippo-Vini Fantini) at the end of an epic 235-kilometre Stage 5 at the Tour of Qinghai Lake.
"[With] about 10 km to go the bunch split," Scott explained. "I made the front and had a couple of teammates up there. It was pretty messy in the final, but we stayed out of trouble."
While the finish was challenging, the 20-year-old Olympic hopeful admitted the entire race was formidable with a hors categorie climb straight out of the launch in Longyangxia.
"The start was pretty tough as well," claimed Scott, who is the second Aussie to record a stage win this week starting with Brenton Jones (Delko-Marseille Provence KTM) on Stage 2 in Xining.
"I managed to not waste too much energy and get up in the front bunch, but the length definitely plays in different parts of the race. [I'm] very happy," he added. "First big tour stage win, so can't ask for much more than that."
Despite complaints from Grosu of being "closed in" by Scott during the final 300 metres, Scott assured the media there was no foul play.
"I don't think I boxed anyone in," said Scott. "There was room on either side all the time. Don't think there is anything to worry about."
With one mountain stage remaining, only 2015 race winner Radoslav Rogina (Adria Mobil) is within striking distance (nine seconds) of Stage 4 winner and current race leader Hernan Aguirre and his Manzana Postobon teammate Hernando Bohorquez, who is second overall on general classification.