Wong rides to first win
Wong Kam-po broke the Russian riders' stranglehold on the Tour of South China Sea by winning the fourth stage in Foshan yesterday.
The newly crowned Asian Games individual road-race champion outsprinted a massed bunch of 67 riders at the end of the 85km, 10-lap course to claim honours in a time of one hour, 52 minutes and 14 seconds.
With the help of teammate Lam Kai-tsun, Wong stayed in the leading pack throughout the race and his experience showed when he managed to manoeuvre himself into a clear lane for the sprint to the finish.
Lam came in third, finishing behind Christopher Jory of the Australian under-23 squad. This was the best result for the Hong Kong riders so far in the four stages.
Team Moscow Dynamo won the first three stages with different riders, but Wong had already expressed confidence that the Hong Kong team would improve as the tour went on.
'We came back from the Doha Games just one week before the tour and needed a couple of races to get ourselves into top race fitness,' said Wong. 'We are now getting better and better as the tour moves on. I am confident of achieving some good results in the final two stages and hopefully we can catch the Russians in the team classification.'
With the Russians finishing among the first 67 riders to cross the finish, they still lead the team standings in 24:32:40, while Hong Kong, the defending champions, are six seconds behind.
In the individual classification, Prajak Mahawong of the Siam Bara team leads in a time of 8:10:44, with Moscow Dynamo's Alexander Khatuntsev lying second.
The tour continues today with an 81km race in Zhuhai and finishes in Macau tomorrow.