Michael Schwarzmann crashes in the final sprint on the eighth stage of the Tour of Qinghai Lake

Team News | 14.07.2013

After Ralf Matzka’s crash on the sixth stage, there was another crash today. Shortly before the finish line during the preparation for the sprint, Team NetApp-Endura’s sprinter Michael Schwarzmann was taken down at 60 km/h by a rider who was dropping back. Despite suffering extensive, severe abrasions, he still managed to complete the stage.  

The eighth stage of the tour covered 201 kilometers from Qilian to Zhangye. Poor weather conditions at an altitude of 3,800 meters with rain and just 7°C once again complicated today’s race. In the mass sprint Italian Sacha Modolo (Bardiani) clinched the stage victory for the third time ahead of Argentinean Ariel Richeze (Lampre) and New Zealander Rico Rogers (Synergy Baku). The top rankings in the general classification remain unaltered.

Many riders launched attacks up until the first mountain classification, but the field warded them off leaving the peloton to enter the first climb as a bunch. On the mountain the field briefly separated, but came back together on the descent. It was at that point that one rider managed to break away, with a pursuer soon joining him. The field let the duo have their way up until the second mountain classification, when the leader’s team managed to consolidate the field once again. The sprinter teams countered a breakaway attempt by two riders and the stage was decided in a mass sprint.

“We rode for Michael today and built up our finishing line very well before one rider fell behind and swerved. Blaz and Ralf were able to steer clear, but Michael took the fall. 199 kilometers of work were destroyed in one fell swoop. That is both unfortunate and frustrating,” Enrico Poitschke reports.

Tomorrow is a rest day, which will allow Ralf Matzka and Michael Schwarzmann to recover from their crashes. The ninth stage will be held in the city of Zhangye as a circuit course with five 23.33-km laps. 

Website Tour of Qinghai Lake

1 Stage, Sunday, 7 July – Xining – Xining, 138km
2 Stage, Monday, 8 July – Huzhu – GuiDe, 151km
3 Stage, Tuesday, 9 July – GuiDe – Qinghai Lake, 148km
4 Stage, Wednesday, 10 July – Qinghai Lake – Tianjun, 227km
5 Stage, Thursday, 11 July – Tianjun – Xihaizhen, 203km
6 Stage, Friday, 12 July – Xihaizhen – Qilian, 205km
7 Stage, Saturday, 13 July – Qilian – Qilian, 82km
8 Stage, Sunday, 14 July – Qilian – Zhangye, 201km
Monday, 15 July – Restday
9 Stage, Tuesday, 16 July – Zhangye – Zhangye, 117km
10 Stage, Wednesday, 17 July – Wuwei – Jingtai, 191km
11 Stage, Thursday, 18 July – Yinchuan – Yinchuan, 121km
12 Stage, Friday, 19 July – Zhongwei – Zhongwei, 119km
13 Stage, Saturday, 20 July – Lanzhou – Lanzhou, 77km   

Final Overall Classification Tour of Qinghai Lake
Mirsamad, Pourseyedi Galokhour
Nepomnyachshiy, Yevgeniy
Fominykh, Daniil
Camano, Iker
Rowsell, Erick
Matzka, Ralf
McEvoy, Jonathan
Schwarzmann, Michael
Thwaites, Scott
Jarc, Blaz