Team Type 1 - SANOFI Update: Tour of China Stage 4

Posted: Sep 14, 2011

Bonus seconds lift Vladimir Efimkin on GC at Tour of China Team Type 1 - SANOFI rider Vladimir Efimkin grabbed valuable bonus seconds on Wednesday in the Tour of China's longest stage, moving up on general classification and establishing his presence in the peloton. Efimkin, who lives in Sacramento, succeeded in a three-man escape late in the 219km race just before the final intermediate sprint, taking two seconds off his time and moving up to ninth in the overall classification, 11 seconds behind the second place rider and 3:36 behind race leader Muradjan Halmuratov of Uzbekistan. "Every day I have been trying to ride as actively as possible, with the thinking that sooner or later it will come to some good. Groups were going off the front all day today, but none of them stuck. I tried too, and it seems the attack I was in was the luckiest," Vladimir Efimkin said. Confusion surrounded the finish of Monday's stage three, when an unplanned series of turns at the finish and an unforeseen climb to the line sent Efimkin's group into the barriers and forced him to stop pedaling in the final 600m. At the end of the stage he was in 21st on the General Classification, seven seconds off of third place after important time bonuses were handed out. "On Monday we came in to the finishing straightaway, but there were these two hard turns and a steep climb. Nobody had any idea they were there, so thank God for vision and brakes. Those on the left took the hill at speed, and those of us on the right practically stopped, otherwise there would have been a big crash. Luckily nobody fell, but some valuable seconds were lost," Vladimir Efimkin said. Team Type 1 - SANOFI Director Sportif Michael Carter said Wednesday's stage was raced in warm sunshine with practically no wind. "It was 219km today with two opening 16km circuits before we headed out onto an open highway, turning off into very small and dusty roads at times as the course went through small villages. Attack followed attack and nobody got a gap of more than 30 seconds," Carter said. Thursday's fifth stage is 143km heading east from Suining to Guang'an. Efimkin, a Tour de France stage winner, said he finds the race challenging and is confident in his physical form. "I was in China for the 2008 Olympics, and I've been hearing that other teams have the order not to let me out in a breakaway, so I think that's a compliment on my fitness," Vladimir Efimkin said. Team Type 1 - SANOFI rider Martijn Verschoor, who has type 1 diabetes and must monitor his blood glucose continuously and periodically take insulin to manage the disease, said the team is riding well to cover attacks. "Joe Eldridge has been really strong and he, Joey Rosskopf and Vladimir went really well in the attacks today. It was a very fast stage with a lot of attempts but no success in the breakaways. Tomorrow it should change in the hills," Verschoor said. Verschoor began the day with a BG at 96 and finished at 220. Eldridge also has type 1 diabetes, and started at 250, dropping to 150 at the finish. Team Type 1 - SANOFI rider Fabio Calabria took 0.5 units insulin midrace, having begun the race at 250. He finished with a BG of 200.