Wong in line for Taiwan honours

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 10 March, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 10 March, 1996, 12:00am

HONG KONG'S Wong Kam-po will wear the yellow jersey in the final stage of the Tour of Taiwan tomorrow, holding a six-second overall lead going into the last 135 kilometres of the nine-stage, 1,203-kilometre cycling series.

Wong, tour leader since taking the yellow jersey from Alexandre Chaparov of Belarus by winning the fourth leg, outsprinted his arch-rivals to finish third in yesterday's 180-kilometre race from Taitong to Hualein.

Germany's Frank Klein and Taiwanese Wen Heng-wei - both out of the running for overall honours - broke away in the final 30 kilometres. Klein produced a stronger finish to win in 5:02:02 and Wen was second 13 seconds adrift.

Wong was in the main peloton and he outsprinted the nine-strong pack that included five of his closest rivals in the overall classification category to take third place in 5:02.33.

'Klein and Wen were left to run away because they are not serious contenders for the overall honours and we [the overall leaders] were just watching each other,' said Wong. 'I went for the sprint hoping to gain another couple of seconds buffer for the last stage but unfortunately they tailed me home and all 10 of us in the main peloton were given the same time.' Wong's overall time of 26:42:17 puts him six seconds ahead of Chaparov with another Belarussian, Sviatoslav Riabouchenko, two seconds further back and German professional Holger Sievers fourth in 26:42:28.

Other serious contenders are Taiwan's Chen Chih-hao (26:42:29) and defending champion Rolf Schmidt of Germany who is another six seconds adrift.