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Spanish cyclist Jordi López Caravaca wins Tour de Taiwan Stage 2

03/13/2023 08:58 PM
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Jordi Lopez Caravaca (left) cheers at the end of Monday
Jordi Lopez Caravaca (left) cheers at the end of Monday's race. Photo courtesy of Chinese Taipei Cycling Association

Taipei, March 13 (CNA) Spanish cyclist Jordi López Caravaca of team Equipo Kern Pharma won first place in a thrilling mountain-top finish in Taoyuan to the 120.59 kilometer stage two of the Tour de Taiwan on Monday, with a time of two hours, 52 minutes and 16 seconds.

With strong winds, intermittent rain and a temperature of only 12 degrees Celsius, the race kicked off with riders pushing hard from the very beginning to establish an early breakaway, with Lopez only emerging as the stage winner following a mountain-top bunch sprint.

At the post-race press conference, Lopez, who secured what was his first professional race win, said it was an incredible feeling to reach the milestone in Taiwan, according to a statement issued by the Chinese Taipei Cycling Association (CTCA).

"The mountain-top finish was tough, but I was determined to push through and give it my all. I'm thrilled to have come out on top and to have experienced such a warm welcome in this beautiful country," Lopez said.

Stage 2 of the annual professional road race covered 120.59 kilometers as the race made its way from Taoyuan City Hall to Jiaobanshan Park on the hilly Northern Cross-island Highway. Along the way they faced one of the two toughest climbs in the race.

The riders traveled in a southwest direction along Expressway 61 through Guanyin and Xinwu, then headed southeast on Expressway 66 through the Yangmei and Pingzhen areas and onto Shihmen Reservoir through Daxi before arriving at Jiaobanshan Park.

Australian Jack Aitken from ST George Continental Cycling Team broke away with Taiwan's Lu Shao-hsuan (盧紹軒) and South Korea's Hoonmin Jun (Seoul Cycling Team) just 30km into the race and held a lead of three minutes until the 117km mark, the CTCA said.

However, with 3km left to go the peloton caught Aitken, making for an exciting bunch sprint finish, the CTCA said.

Aitken secured the Mountain General Classification (Polka-dot Jersey) and was awarded the Combativity Award for the stage, highlighting his tenacity and skill on the bike for his breakaway efforts, the CTCA said.

The overall ranking (yellow jersey) went to Dutch cyclist Raymond Kreder, of JCL Team UKYO, who took the lead in the individual general classification with 4:39:45, closely followed by Lopez, just two seconds behind.

Riders in the Tour de Taiwan will cover a total of 670.3 kilometers over the race's five stages, which also includes stops in Hsinchu, Nantou County and Kaohsiung.

(By William Yen)


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