Zachary Bell (Champion System) won the sprint from the break group after 184.7 kilometers between Pyeongchang und Yangyang. Van Niekerk finished fifth and Meintjes eighth on the day, moving up to second in the young rider ranking. Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung increased its lead in the overall team ranking and leads the competition by 3’57″.
“We tried to shake up the GC today. Dennis and Louis rode in the front group of 11 and they made up time on the yellow jersey”, said directeur sportif Kevin Campbell. “Unfortunately Kristian [Sbaragli] lost his points lead, but we are racing for a GC result. I’m satisfied with the day’s racing. there is still a hard day tomorrow and we hope to improve even more.”
“Tomorrow will be the last day for a GC shakeup, and the hills are at the start of the stage. We will have to see if the yellow jersey has a team capable of defending his lead. Tomorrow is also a good stage for Kristian and we will hopefully deliver him to a good stage result.”
The group of the day around van Niekerk and Meintjes formed on the day’s first climb, about 20 kilometers into the stage, with the group taking advantage of the 20 km long climb to get away. On the last climb, five km before Yangyang, the group had a comfortable gap of three and a half minutes and it became clear that the stage winner would come out of this group.
Saturday sees a 151.1 long stage from Yangyang to Hongcheon, before the race ends on Sunday in Hanam after eight stages and 1,077 kilometers.
Tour of Korea (Korea) – (June 9 – 16 / UCI 2.2): Louis Meintjes (RSA), Johann Van Zyl (RSA), Bradley Potgieter (RSA), Martin Wesemann (RSA), Dennis Van Niekerk (RSA), Songezo Jim (RSA), Kristian Sbaragli (ITA).
Staff: Kevin Campbell (Directeur Sportif), Yvonne Houweling (Soigneur), Russel Lenhoff (Soigneur), Casper Bester (Mechanic).
Dennis Van Niekerk (Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung).