Sport Director Brett Lancaster was upbeat about Team Sky’s chances of rounding the season off with a victory as Dylan Groenewegen (Team LottoNL-Jumbo) won the penultimate stage of the Tour of Guangxi.

Gronenewegen came out on top of a windy bunch sprint after a gruelling 212km stage five that was raced at a very high pace throughout, with Danny van Poppel finishing in the top 20. 

Seventh-placed Wout Poels was briefly in an elite breakaway group of GC contenders with less than 50km to go, before the peloton was able to bring the bunch together for the fourth sprint finish of the race so far.

“It took 70km for the break to go it was incredible - super, super fast, Lancaster told

“Movistar came to the front and really out the hammer down in the last 60km as we hit the climbs. Wout [Poels] went into the front group of 13 briefly with some of the key GC guys, but then it all came together for the finish.” 

He added:  “There was a strong headwind at the finish and Danny was swamped from behind after hitting the front a little too early. 

“He was very upset as he said he felt really good today.”
Brett Lancaster

Brett Lancaster

You’ll have to be climbing well to get over the final climb and finish things off.
The final stage represents another chance for the sprinters, but Lancaster reckons the finish will suit those with an aptitude to master the short, sharp climbs that have peppered the race so far. 

He concluded: “The climb tomorrow is similar to today’s final ascent, but closer to the finish, so you’ll have to be climbing well to get over and finish things off. 

“We’ll be ready and we’ll go again tomorrow.”

Stage five result
1. Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) 5h04'21"
2. Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) s.t.
3. Magnus Cort Nielsen (Orica-Scott), s.t.
4. Mike Teunissen (Team Sunweb) s.t.
5 Paolo De Negripier (Paolonippo - Vini Fantini) s.t.

20. Danny van Poppel (Team Sky) s.t.