The victory came with a nice bonus for our neo-pro, who will lead the overall standings going into the queen stage.
Fabio Jakobsen made sure Quick-Step Floors will conclude this record-breaking season with a win at its last appearance, in the Tour of Guangxi, sprinting to a convincing victory – the sixth of his first pro year – in the city of Nanning, where the 125km-long stage 3 ended after another rainy and nervous day in the saddle.
Quick-Step Floors were one of the teams taking over the front of the bunch from the start, drilling the pace behind the three escapees, who got to enjoy a maximum lead of two minutes before being swarmed with seven kilometers to go, when the sprint trains began jostling for position. Our squad left nothing to chance, staying at all times near the front of the peloton as soon as they passed the 10km-to-go mark and keeping Fabio in a good position on the long finishing straight.
Davide Martinelli was the one to lead-out Jakobsen, putting him on the wheel of the other contenders with 300 meters to go, and the 22-year-old Dutchman made the most of this opportunity, opening his sprint on the left side of the road and comfortably beating Pascal Ackermann (Bora-hansgrohe) and Max Walscheid (Team Sunweb), a win that netted him the lead in three classifications: overall, points and youth.
"It was again tense today, but it's always like that in a mass sprint. The team put their faith in me and I trusted them. On the previous stages I made some mistakes, as I was a bit too nervous and eager, but today I remained calm and followed Martinelli, who did a great job. I am very happy with this victory, my second in the World Tour, and I want to thank my teammates for all they've done for me."
Thursday was the 72nd time this year that a Quick-Step Floors rider crossed the finish line arms aloft in a UCI race, a winning series that kick-started in January at the Tour Down Under and took our outfit – victorious in 22 countries across five continents – to the very top of the World Tour team classification.
"It's been a truly fantastic season, one that will be remembered years from now. Everybody worked really hard since last winter, we were always focused and committed on giving everything and making the most out of every opportunity regardless of the race. This massive haul of wins comes as confirmation of the amazing job we've done as a team, as a family", Fabio concluded after his victory in Nanning.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele/ Getty Images