Nicolas Roche finishes third in inaugural Tour of Guangxi
Irish rider secures maiden WorldTour general classification podium finish in China
Nicolas Roche finished third in inaugural Tour of Guangxi. Photograph: Jonathan Porter/Inpho
Nicolas Roche added a notable achievement to his career on Tuesday, finishing third overall in the Tour of Guangxi in China and thus securing his first ever WorldTour general classification podium result.
The BMC Racing Team rider rolled in 36th in a bunch sprint into Guilin. Quickest was the Colombian Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors), who clocked up his fourth stage win of the race by beating Niccolo Bonifazio (Bahrain-Merida) and Dylan Groenewegen (Team LottoNl-Jumbo) to the line.
Roche finished third overall, 11 seconds behind the winner Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) and just five seconds adrift of Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo). He was also second in the mountains classification behind teammate Daniel Oss.
“I think it has been a great first edition of the Tour of Guangxi,” said Roche.
“Overall, it was very well organised, and I think we can say that it was a success. As a team, we really enjoyed our week here. We rode competitively as a group, and we did a good race.
“I am pretty happy to be on the podium at a UCI WorldTour one-week race this year and to wrap up the 2017 season in this way.”
Tour of Guangxi (WorldTour):
Stage 6, Guilin to Guilin: 1, Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Quick-Step Floors) 168.1 kilometres in 3 hours 46 mins 30 secs; 2, N. Bonifazio (Bahrain-Merida); 3, D. Groenewegen (Team LottoNl-Jumbo); 4, A. Guardini (UAE Team Emirates); 5, M. Cort Nielsen (Orica-Scott); 6, M. Richard Walscheid (Team Sunweb)
Irish: 36, N. Roche (BMC Racing Team
Final General Classification: 1, Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) 20 hours 59 mins 49 secs; 2, B. Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) at 6 secs; 3, N. Roche (BMC Racing Team) at 11 secs; 4, J. Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) at 15 secs; 5, B. Hermans (BMC Racing Team) at 18 secs; 6, M. Mohoric (UAE Team Emirates) at mins 24 secs
Mountains Classification: 1, Daniel Oss (BMC Racing Team) 66 pts; 2, N. Roche (BMC Racing Team) 40; 3, T. Wellens (Lotto Soudal 25