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by Shane Stokes
March 16, 2018
Pacioni wins final stage of Tour de Taiwan, Arashiro takes overall; Van Garderen motivated to repeat past success in Volta a Catalunya; Past winner Degenkolb and teammate Nizzolo to miss Milan-San Remo; EF Education First-Drapac row in behind Modolo for Milan-San Remo; Critérium du Dauphiné route announced, features prologue, TTT and four summit finishes; Team Sky/Wiggins case could bring welcome – and powerful – changes to UK law; Opinion: Knighting Bradley Wiggins so early was just asking for trouble; Wolf Tooth RoadLink gets direct-mount option; Video: Sagan Loves the New Turbo Vado; Video: Phil Gaimon’s Worst Retirement Ever Short – Training for Cancellara – Mandeville Canyon KOM
Normally racing with the Bahrain-Merida team, Yukiya Arashiro made the most of his guest slot with the Japanese national team when he sealed overall victory in the Tour de Taiwain on Thursday. The climber finished second, third and seventh on stages to take the overall lead on Wednesday, then defended it by finishing in the main bunch on the final stage.
The concluding leg began at Pingtung County Hall and covered 192.8 largely flat kilometres to Dapeng Bay National Scenic Area. Four riders went clear in the day’s break but they were reeled in with seven kilometres left. Luca Pacioni (Willier Triestina-Selle Italia) was then quickest in the big bunch sprint, beating Lucas Sebastian Haedo (UnitedHealthcare), Raymond Kreder (Team UKYO), Jacob Tipper (Memil-CCN Pro Cycling) and Australian rider Michael Freiberg (Bennelong SwissWellness) to the line.
“It was a fast race since the beginning,” said Pacioni. “The peloton has realized that the breakaway was dangerous and so we didn’t allow more than four minutes to the escapees. Velasco and Florez made a great job in the last 50 kms and then Turrin and Zhupa did a perfect lead out. Without such an excellent team I couldn’t make it.”
Arashire rolled in 18th, thus maintaining his grip on the race lead. He ended the five-day race two seconds ahead of Australian Jonathan Clarke (UnitedHealthcare), and 13 in front of Jimmy Janssens (Cibel-Cebon). Double track world champion Edwin Avila (Israel Cycling Academy) and Markus Freiberger (Team Hrinkow Advarics Cycleang) completed the top five.