Dean Downing has won stage five of the seven-day Tour of Taiwan (March 14-20). The British Rapha-Condor-Sharp rider came out on top after 157.3 kilometres of racing in Miaoli County in the west of the country.
Downing beat stage three and four winner Takashi Miyazawa (Japan) in the bunch sprint after a tough day’s riding that featured two first category climbs on the race’s longest stage.
“The Hong Kong team did a lot of attacking today and the race was very fast,” Downing said after his win.
“But it was perfect for me and in the last 250 metres, I rode off the rider from CCC and went in for the finish. I thought it was not going to be enough but when I saw the line, I knew that I had made it.”
Irishman David McCann, riding for the Giant Asia Racing Team, leads the UCI 2.2-ranked race overall. McCann won the opening stage of the race and has held on to the lead since. Downing is seventh overall, 35 seconds adrift of McCann.
American Philip Gaimon (Kenda) is second on general classification at eight seconds, with Australian William Clarke (Genesys Wealth Advisers) third at 11 seconds.
Downing’s win has bumped him up to second place in the tour’s points classification behind double stage winner Miyazawa.
After Friday’s penultimate stage from Taipei City to Shihsanhan, the 2010 Tour of Taiwan concludes on Saturday, March 20, with a 60 kilometre criterium around Taipei. The Tour of Taiwain is part of the Union Cyliste Internationale’s Asia Tour race calendar.
Rapha-Condor-Sharp‘s line-up in Taiwan consists of Downing, Graham Briggs, Matt Cronshaw, Ben Greenwood and Dean Windsor.