Joseph Cooper has won the final stage of the Tour of Hainan, and in doing so has taken the biggest win of his career.  The 31 year old from IsoWhey Sports-SwissWellness took the win after a classic Joe Cooper-style late attack which saw him simply ride away from the rest of the field and hold on to secure the win on the final day of the race.

Stage 9 of the Tour of Hainan, the UCI 2.HC race took the field from Lingshui to Wanning Xinglong, a distance of 153.8km.  The stage featured a couple of ascents, with two category 3 climbs featuring early on, and a couple of little rises before the somewhat downhill finish.  Prior to the attack from Cooper the pace had been kept high with a threatening breakaway being closely marked inside the final 30km.  Willier Triestina-Selle Italia were prominent on the front of the peloton keeping an eye on proceedings.

With 16km to go the breakaway group of four riders who were up the road had an advantage of just 13 seconds remaining and that advantage was eventually hoovered up.  But Cooper’s atack came as the race reached the final KOM points with 14km remaining.  Despite one or two of those ahead trying to stay with him it proved to be a lost cause as the two-time New Zealand road race champion opted not to wait for cooperation with anyone and simply rode onwards, quickly establishing a 10 second advantage with 13km to go.

Adopting his aero tuck position Cooper powered onwards over the rolling roads towards the finish.  Those who’d tried to keep pace with him had been brought back to the peloton but it looked like Cooper’s move might well come to naught with the peloton closing to within just a couple of seconds of the Kiwi.  But while a number of riders might well sit up at this point, Cooper decided to keep pressing on and it proved an inspired move as he regained an advantage; while behind him it appeared that there was some uncertainty among the peloton as to how to formulate a chase.

In the end a chase did begin to establish but frustratingly for the chasers Cooper remained just outside of their grasp.  With 4km to go though he was joined by two riders, Mikel Aristi from Delko Marseille and Rick van Breda from Monkey Town Continental Team.  They caught and looked to have dropped Cooper but then the lack of cooperation between the two riders saw Cooper not only able to regain contact with the pair but then drop them again with 3km to go as they looked at each other.

Cooper raced towards the 1km to go banner solo with Delko Marseille now numerically strongest on the front of the race, but they were still unable to bring back the Kiwi who kept on pressing forward.  With 500m to go he still had just around 7 seconds in hand.  After taking the final bend Cooper time trialled to the line and was able to sit up and savour a sweet win as the sprinters rued the day.  Emils Liepins of Delko Marseille took second place with Andriy Kulyk of Kolss Cycling third.

In a post-race interview team boss Andrew Christie-Johnston said, “The World Tour is missing out with Joe, and it’s been the most frustrating thing for me.  I’ve had Joe for a while now and he came close to the World Tour a few years ago.  But whether or not he is physically riding for a team at the highest level or not, he is 100% World Tour strong.

 

Stage results:
Rank Last Name First Name Country Team Result
1 COOPER Joseph NZL        ISOWHEY SPORTS SWISSWELLNESS 3:31:16
2 LIEPINS Emils LAT        RIETUMU BANKA – RIGA 3:31:17
3 KULYK Andriy UKR        KOLSS CYCLING TEAM 3:31:17
4 PAGE Dylan SUI        SWITZERLAND 3:31:17
5 ZANOTTI Marco ITA        MONKEY TOWN CONTINENTAL TEAM 3:31:17
6 SLIK Ivar NED        MONKEY TOWN CONTINENTAL TEAM 3:31:17
7 SPENGLER Lukas SUI        SWITZERLAND 3:31:17
8 TZORTZAKIS Polychronis GRE        RTS – MONTON RACING TEAM 3:31:17
9 ABERASTURI IZAGA Jon ESP        TEAM UKYO 3:31:17
10 MAESTRI Mirco ITA        BARDIANI CSF 3:31:17
11 MEILER Martin GER        TEAM VORARLBERG 3:31:17
12 DÉR Zsolt HUN        TEAM VORARLBERG 3:31:17
13 ZHUPA Eugert ALB        WILIER TRIESTINA – SELLE ITALIA 3:31:17
14 BARBIN Enrico ITA        BARDIANI CSF 3:31:17
15 HUCKER Robbie AUS        ISOWHEY SPORTS SWISSWELLNESS 3:31:17
16 RUPNIK Jure SLO        H&R BLOCK PRO CYCLING TEAM 3:31:17
17 SIMION Paolo ITA        BARDIANI CSF 3:31:17
18 KONONENKO Mykhaylo UKR        KOLSS CYCLING TEAM 3:31:17
19 LUNARDON Paolo ITA        RTS – MONTON RACING TEAM 3:31:17
20 BANZER Gordian SUI        SWITZERLAND 3:31:17
21 CHEN Zhiwen CHN        GIANT CYCLING TEAM 3:31:17
22 LAAS Martin EST        DELKO MARSEILLE PROVENCE KTM 3:31:17
23 SCHELLING Patrick SUI        TEAM VORARLBERG 3:31:17
24 MOSCA Jacopo ITA        WILIER TRIESTINA – SELLE ITALIA 3:31:17
25 LEA Jason AUS        ISOWHEY SPORTS SWISSWELLNESS 3:31:17
26 HUPOND Thierry FRA        DELKO MARSEILLE PROVENCE KTM 3:31:17
27 PRENDERGAST Chris CAN        H&R BLOCK PRO CYCLING TEAM 3:31:17
28 RATHE Jacob USA        JELLY BELLY P/B MAXXIS 3:31:17
29 PAROZ Justin SUI        SWITZERLAND 3:31:17
30 DE MAAR Marc NED        HENGXIANG CYCLING TEAM 3:31:17
31 STANNARD Robert AUS        MITCHELTON SCOTT 3:31:17
32 BUSSARD Dimitri SUI        SWITZERLAND 3:31:17
33 TURRIN Alex ITA        WILIER TRIESTINA – SELLE ITALIA 3:31:17
34 DE JONGE Maarten NED        MONKEY TOWN CONTINENTAL TEAM 3:31:17
35 HENTTALA Joonas FIN        TEAM NOVO NORDISK 3:31:17
36 FRIESECKE Gian SUI        TEAM VORARLBERG 3:31:17
37 POLI Umberto ITA        TEAM NOVO NORDISK 3:31:17
38 PRADES REVERTER Benjami ESP        TEAM UKYO 3:31:17
39 CROME Sam AUS        ISOWHEY SPORTS SWISSWELLNESS 3:31:17
40 HINDLEY Jai AUS        MITCHELTON SCOTT 3:31:17
41 SCHÄPPI Martin SUI        SWITZERLAND 3:31:17
42 CHEYNE Jordan CAN        JELLY BELLY P/B MAXXIS 3:31:17
43 ZARDINI Edoardo ITA        BARDIANI CSF 3:31:17
44 PUJOL MUNOZ Oscar ESP        TEAM UKYO 3:31:17
45 LAVRIČ Martin SLO        ATTAQUE TEAM GUSTO 3:31:17
46 LIU Jianpeng CHN        HENGXIANG CYCLING TEAM 3:31:17
47 VAN LUIJK Sven NED        MONKEY TOWN CONTINENTAL TEAM 3:31:17
48 TVETCOV Serghei ROU        JELLY BELLY P/B MAXXIS 3:31:17
49 LIENHARD Fabian SUI        TEAM VORARLBERG 3:31:17
50 SCHNEITER Joab SUI        SWITZERLAND 3:31:27
51 VASYLYUK Andriy UKR        KOLSS CYCLING TEAM 3:31:30
52 GRECHYN Sergiy UKR        HAINAN JILUN CYCLING TEAM 3:31:30
53 KRAGH ANDERSEN Asbjørn DEN        DELKO MARSEILLE PROVENCE KTM 3:31:35
54 COUANON Jonathan FRA        DELKO MARSEILLE PROVENCE KTM 3:31:45
55 CHEN Mingrun CHN          3:31:51
56 POLIVODA Oleksandr UKR        KOLSS CYCLING TEAM 3:31:51
57 WANG Yadong CHN          3:31:51
58 BRAND Sam GBR        TEAM NOVO NORDISK 3:31:51
59 WANG Bo CHN        HENGXIANG CYCLING TEAM 3:31:51
60 LIU Jiankun CHN        MITCHELTON SCOTT 3:31:51
61 SHELDEN Taylor USA        JELLY BELLY P/B MAXXIS 3:32:16
62 SAMUEL Travis CAN        H&R BLOCK PRO CYCLING TEAM 3:32:19
63 KONSTANTINOV Radoslav BUL        HAINAN JILUN CYCLING TEAM 3:32:37
64 BAKKER Stephan NED        MONKEY TOWN CONTINENTAL TEAM 3:32:37
65 VAN BREDA Rick NED        MONKEY TOWN CONTINENTAL TEAM 3:33:23
66 PEÑA MENESES Cristian Andres COL        RTS – MONTON RACING TEAM 3:33:29
67 BUTS Vitaliy UKR        KOLSS CYCLING TEAM 3:33:29
68 CASTILLO SOTO Ulises Alfredo MEX        JELLY BELLY P/B MAXXIS 3:33:29
69 CARTIER Alexis CAN        H&R BLOCK PRO CYCLING TEAM 3:33:29
70 ZHANG Zheng CHN        HENGXIANG CYCLING TEAM 3:33:29
71 HUANG Wen Chung TPE        ATTAQUE TEAM GUSTO 3:33:29
72 CUESTA ZAMORA Steven Manuel COL        HAINAN JILUN CYCLING TEAM 3:33:29
73 CARRERO ACOSTA Juan Jose De Jesus COL        HAINAN JILUN CYCLING TEAM 3:33:29
74 MCCLURE Reid CAN        TEAM NOVO NORDISK 3:33:29
75 SHEEHAN Michael USA        JELLY BELLY P/B MAXXIS 3:33:29
76 HONIG Reinier NED        TEAM VORARLBERG 3:33:29
77 DYBALL Benjamin AUS        ST GEORGE CONTINENTAL CYCLING TEAM 3:33:29
78 MARONESE Marco ITA        BARDIANI CSF 3:33:29
79 BLOKKER Joris NED        MONKEY TOWN CONTINENTAL TEAM 3:33:29
80 BRATASHCHUK Andrii UKR        KOLSS CYCLING TEAM 3:33:29
81 JENNER Samuel AUS        MITCHELTON SCOTT 3:33:29
82 ARAQUE LORENTE Rodrigo ESP        TEAM UKYO 3:33:29
83 MEILER Lukas GER        TEAM VORARLBERG 3:33:29
84 PREVAR Oleksandr UKR        KOLSS CYCLING TEAM 3:33:29
85 ARISTI GARDOKI Mikel ESP        DELKO MARSEILLE PROVENCE KTM 3:33:40
86 SHI Hang CHN        GIANT CYCLING TEAM 3:35:07
87 MARECZKO Jakub ITA        WILIER TRIESTINA – SELLE ITALIA 3:37:21
88 FONZI Giuseppe ITA        WILIER TRIESTINA – SELLE ITALIA 3:39:11
89 KOSHEVOY Ilia BLR        WILIER TRIESTINA – SELLE ITALIA 3:39:11
90 RAGGIO Luca ITA        WILIER TRIESTINA – SELLE ITALIA 3:39:11
91 STERBINI Simone ITA        BARDIANI CSF 3:39:11
DNF TOKUDA Tanzou JPN        TEAM UKYO  
DNF HIRAI Eiichi JPN        TEAM UKYO  
DNF AKPAROV Abdullojon UZB        BEIJING XDS – INNOVA CYCLING TEAM  
DNF YAN Meng CHN           

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here