He outsprinted the up-and-coming Australian Brenton Jones of Drapac and France’s Benjamin Giraud of Marseille 13-KTM. The Italian also took over from his compatriot Andrea Palini in the lead of the overall classification.
“It was a long and hot day,” said Modolo at the finish line in Chengmai. “There wasn’t any difference in altitude but racing after 200km always puts us in the unknown. But the slightly uphill finish perfectly suited my characteristics. I was confident because I feel good these days.
“I’ve taken advantage of the Drapac team. I’ve noticed they are well organised and they have a few more guys than us for the lead out. At some stage I’ve seen one adversary trying to pass me but I knew I was fast and it would be difficult for anyone to beat me today.”
Ukraine’s Andriy Khripta was the last breakaway rider to be reeled in with 20km to go. Earlier on, Zamri Salleh (Terengganu), Tomas Vaitkus (Rietumu-Delfin) and Abdullojon Akparov (Beijing Innova) accompanied him at the front with a maximum advantage of 11 minutes 55 seconds.
Most importantly, top Chinese cyclist Wang Meiyin of Hengxiang was also part of the move and won the two hot spot sprints. Succeeding his team-mate Ma Guangtong in the lead of the best Asian rider competition, he declared: “My move wasn’t intentional, I just happened to be there when the break went even though I can feel that the European teams look at me more now than in previous years.”
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