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Greek rider opens 2018 Tour of Qinghai Lake campaign with 1st stage win

(Xinhua)    08:05, July 23, 2018

Georgios Bouglas of Greece chalked up his first 2.HC stage victory on Sunday when he triumphed in the sprint final of the opening stage of the 2018 Tour of Qinghai Lake.

The finale of the first stage ended in a frenzied fight to the finish with Ningxia Sports Lottery-Livall Cycling Team rider Bouglas crossing the line a bike length ahead of the Torku Sekerspor pair of Batuhan Ozgur and Onur Balkan.

Bouglas, 27, completed the 162-km road race in three hours 56 minutes and five seconds.

Prior to the finish, the majority of the race was rather leisurely, with the only real threat of a sustained break coming in the stage's final 40 kilometres.

Belarusian Branislau Samoilau of Minsk Cycling Team opened up a small gap on the field for 10 kilometers before being joined by Frenchman Alexis Guerin from Delko-Marseille Provence KTM. Both riders were reeled back in with 20 kilometers remaining.

"My first victory for this level," said Bouglas, who finished third on the opening day in Qinghai in 2017. "Last year I placed on Stage 1 and this year I am the winner. For me it's very important and for my team, and now I hope for good results for my team in the next few days."

"With five kilometers to go I was a little bit behind and the guys on my team worked so hard for me, so thanks to my team because without a strong team this is not possible," he said.

Stage 2 of the 13-stage UCI 2.HC Asia Tour road race includes eight laps of the 14.4-km Xining City Circuit on Monday.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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