The diminutive Kiwi atom bomb Luke Mudgway has won Stage 3 of the Tour of China II today shining a light on his potential as an up an coming road sprinter.
The second of two UCI 2.1 tours is a largely flat sprinters paradise with the team travelling straight from Europe at the end of a long overseas stint which started in Korea over three months ago.
Starting the day 13 seconds down on overnight leader Nicolas Marini (Nippo Vini Fantini) in 15th overall Luke needed to jump into the right move to have any chance of success and that’s exactly what he did.
The irrepressible Matt Zenovich represented the team in the early break for 70km playing the team game whilst the rest of the boys conserved their energy waiting for the big moves to go. At the days second KOM the team lined it out to give Luke a chance at the points with Luke slipping away into a 30 man move directly afterward. The size of the break meant that many of the teams had riders up the road and had no desire to chase or simply lacked the firepower to bring it back.
The slightly uphill sprint worked in Luke’s favour. As the road kicked Luke lit it up and stormed clear to take his first ever UCI victory and is now on the same time as race leader Riccardo Stacchiotti (Nippo Vini Fantini).
“I’m absolutley stoked to take this win. We’ve all been a bit crook and tired after such a long trip so this will lift our spirits massively. Yeah boy!”
After a rest day tomorrow the tour will continue with a 131km road stage with the final 82km stage on Sunday in Zhuhai.