Petr Vakoč finished in the top 5, as teammate Mikkel Honoré continued to make inroads in the overall.
A rather short stage around Nanning, peppered with several climb, was in store for the Tour of Guangxi peloton on Saturday, when three riders pulled out 2:30 over the red jersey group in the opening kilometers, an advantage which was easily kept under control and clawed back on the stinging gradients of the day’s penultimate hill.
Deceuninck – Quick-Step began making their presence felt on the run-in to the last climb (1.6km, 5.7%), several of our riders moving near the front of the peloton, from where Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) attacked. Former Czech Champion Petr Vakoč immediately reacted and launched an acceleration of his own, bridging to the Frenchman over the top and plunging onto the descent with a couple of seconds in hand over a splintered bunch.
With several teams getting organised, it wasn’t long before the duo got caught, opening the door to an attempt of Rémi Cavagna, whose action – although a valiant one – was brought to an end inside the last two kilometers of stage 3. The non-technical finish was suited to power sprinters, and it was Pascal Ackermann (Bora-hansgrohe) who took the win in Nanning.
Despite his earlier attack, Petr still had enough left to get in the mix and concluded fifth – one of the four Deceuninck – Quick-Step riders to finish the stage in the top 20 – alongside Davide Martinelli, Cavagna and Mikkel Honoré, who in the general classification made a jump of three places and lies in fourth position ahead of the race’s summit finish at the Nongla Scenic Area.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele/ Getty Images