Britain's Daniel Lloyd has moved into the overall lead in the 2.HC ranked Tour of Qinghai Lake in China.
The DFL rider was one of a group of 44 riders who went over 10 minutes clear on stage five to Xining. With four stages to go, Lloyd is on the same time as second-placed rider Gabriele Missaglia, and four seconds ahead of Francisco Mancebo, who is riding for the Relax team after being named in the Operacion Puerto investigation. But only eight riders are within a minute of Lloyd, including Colombian team mate Juan Pablo Wilches.
DFL have four riders in the top 20, and are second in the teams classification.
DFL team manager Nick Collins told www.cyclingweekly.com that the Tour of Qinghai Lake was one of the team?s major targets for the season.
?I?m pleased with the way the race has gone. We?ve not gone into yellow too early, and we have two days of severe climbing coming up, so Dan still has to finish the job,? he said.
?Dan?s been training hard in the Alps for this, and hopefully this will pay off,? he continued.
Previous winners of the Tour of Qinghai Lake include Tom Danielson and Damiano Cunego. If Lloyd holds onto the yellow jersey, it will be Britain?s biggest stage race victory since David Millar won the Tour of Denmark in 2001.
Since 1990, Brits have won the overall classification of only three stage races ranked .HC or above ? Robert Millar in the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré in 1990, Chris Boardman in Critérium International in 1996, and Millar in Denmark.
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Edward Pickering is a writer and journalist, editor of Pro Cycling and previous deputy editor of Cycle Sport. As well as contributing to Cycling Weekly, he has also written for the likes of the New York Times. His book, The Race Against Time, saw him shortlisted for Best New Writer at the British Sports Book Awards. A self-confessed 'fair weather cyclist', Pickering also enjoys running.
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