15th November, 2018 – Qinjiang Manchu Village, Fujian, China: Leon Rohde, 23, who is part of the German national team mostly for track meets, imposed himself for the first time in an international road race. His victory comes the day after the win for 20-year-old Chinese mountain biker Lyu Xianjing took his maiden road race victory on a hilltop finish. Today Rohde outsprinted Stage 2 favourite Kaden Groves of Mitchelton-BikeExchange in Qinjiang Manchu Village while the other Australian young gun, Toby Orchard (Australian Cycling Academy), went down. Lyu retained the overall lead after Hengxiang Cycling Team controlled the race all the way on the shores of the South China Sea.
Stage 2 winner Leon Rohde said: “It’s perfect for me. I had a hard season. I changed team and now I prepare mostly for track cycling. I’m at the peak of my shape now in the middle of the track season. I’m super fit and my team-mates are too. I got a very strong lead out. Because the roads were wide and the wind not too strong, we decided to wait as long as we could. A train of five guys was set in front of me with 2.5km to go. It worked well. We were so explosive that nobody could hold our wheels. At 200m to go, it was my time to open my sprint. I saw somebody coming on my right side but I got it just.”
Statistic of the day
Leon Rohde is the first German to cross the finishing line in first place on a stage at the Tour of Fuzhou since its inception in 2012. His compatriot Tino Thömel was eventually awarded the victory on Stage 3 in 2015 after the disqualification of Italy’s Mattia Gavazzi.
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