Guangxi stage 2: Ackermann wins in pouring rain

German Pascal Ackermann wins the second stage of the Tour de Guangxi in southern China on Wednesday.

SHANGHAI (AFP) — German Pascal Ackermann took the second stage of the Tour de Guangxi in southern China on Wednesday.

“It was not easy today to get the timing right,” said Ackermann. “It was hectic because of the rain, but also because the last 2k were on a big road and totally straight which made it difficult.”

Ackerman, of the Bora-Hansgrohe team, won the sprint finish in 3:18:58, ahead of Fabio Jakobsen of Quick-Step Floors and stage 1 winner Dylan Groenewegen of Team LottoNL-Jumbo.

“Yesterday we messed it up a little, but today everything went perfect,” Ackermann added. “There are a lot of really strong sprinters here, so you also need a little bit of luck to get everything right. Today I had the position and also the legs. It was a great team effort and a deserved win.”

The Dutchman Groenewegen remains on top in the overall standings, four seconds ahead of both Ackermann and Jakobsen.

The 145km second stage ran along the coast of the Gulf of Tonkin between the cities of Beihai and Qinzhou. A five-man breakaway was off the front for most of the day until the rainy finishing circuit in Qinzhou.

Cyclists are expected to face their biggest challenge on Stage 5, a 212km route from Liuzhou to Guilin taking in some rugged roads and three climbs.

The six-stage race in Guangxi, a region bordering on Vietnam, is the final stop on this year’s UCI WorldTour.