Polivoda claims stage 3 and slips into Tour of Qinghai Lake leaders jersey
Ukrainian Oleksandr Polivoda wins his third career stage at Qinghai Lake and dons yellow leaders jersey for second time in two years…
By: Aaron S. Lee
Qinghai Lake, CHINA—A day after Slovenian Marko Kump sprinted to two straight wins to open the 14th ‘Qinghai Rural Credit Cup’ Tour of Qinghai Lake (UCI 2.HC), Ukrainian Oleksandr Polivoda (Kolss-BDC) survived 3,443 metres in elevation and a hors catégorie climb to claim the ‘China UnionPay’ stage 3 on Tuesday, July 7.
Seven riders failed to make the start due to injuries suffered in a crash-marred stage 2, leaving 206 to challenge the grueling climb from Xining to ‘Sun and Moon Mountain’ and over to the Qinghai Lake finish 148 kilometres away.
The win gives Polivoda, who was fourth on general classification (GC) last year, three stage wins in his career at the Tour of Qinghai Lake, and moves him into the yellow leaders jersey – lifting it from Kump who remains points classification leader.
“This is the third year in a row for me at Qinghai Lake, and I know this climb from last year,” said the 28-year-old Polivoda, who finished third in his national road race last week. “Altitude was very difficult, and the last three or four days we have not had good sensations and had tension [in the chest].”
As for Adria Mobil, Kump may have lost the jersey but his 36-year-old Croatian teammate Radoslov Rogina took third behind Italian Luka Wackermann (Southeast).
“We lost the jersey, but this is good for us as we don’t need to set the pace tomorrow,” said Adria Mobil sports director Bostjan Mervar. “We can win the race and bring the jersey back.”
Kump agrees with Mervar.
“It’s the perfect scenario for us,” said the 26-year-old Kump, who spent the past two years with Tinkoff-Saxo. “Now they have the yellow jersey and now we can just step back and relax a little bit.
“We have our best GC rider on the podium and he knows how to make smart decisions and conserve his energy for later in the race.”
According to Polivoda, neither he nor his team plan on dropping the jersey anytime soon.
“I will look to defend,” said the reigning Five Rings of Moscow (2.2) and Tour of Mersin (2.2) champion. “I have the yellow jersey and my team will work tomorrow and hopefully help me hold on to the jersey for more days.”
Colombian Francisco Colorado (Ningxia Sports Lottery-Focus) earns the first mountains classification jersey, while Iranian, and 2012 stage and race winner, Hossein Alizadeh (RTS-Santic) moves into the best Asian rider classification.
The 13-stage Asia Tour race continues on Wednesday with the 185km ‘Qinghai Rural Credit’ stage 4 from Qinghai Lake to Gangcha.
1. POLIVODA Oleksandr (KLS)
2. WACKERMANN Luka (STH)
3. ROGINA Radoslav (ADR)
GC(Yellow Jersey): POLIVODA Oleksandr (KLS)
Points(Green Jersey): KUMP Marko (ADR)
Best Asia(Blue Jersey): ALIZADEH Hossein(RTS)
KOM(Polka dot Jersey): COLORADO HERNANDEZ Francisco Jarl(NFC)