|Digging deep: Cyclists compete in the fifth stage of the Cycling to Countryside Tournament yesterday. Ha Thanh Tam won the stage and took the leader's yellow jersey. — VNS Photo Hai Van
HA NOI (VNS)— It was a brilliant day yesterday for cyclist Ha Thanh Tam as he won the stage and took the leader's yellow jersey while his team Vinh Binh Rice-An Giang stayed on top of the ranking table.
Tam took his second stage win in a row when he finished the Cycling to Countryside Tournament's fifth stage after 2hr 35.54min and then stole the overall leader's position. The host rider achieved an average speed of 38.101kmph from Soc Trang to Vi Xuyen City across the 99km route.
An Giang riders opened attacks early during the stage but rivals from Long Xuyen and Hau Giang soon caught up. In the last break 200m away from the finish, Tam received strong support from his teammates and came first.
Truong Nhat Truong of Domesco Dong Thap and Le Huu Phuoc from Military Zone 7 were second and third, respectively.
Tam's total time of 12:39.56 helped him overcome leader Huynh Thanh Tung of Military Zone 7 whose time was 4sec slower. Nguyen Huu Tien of Ha Noi came third with 12:39.85.
Tam's win helped his team cement their lead clocking in a total time of 38:01.47. They are followed by Vinh Long and Binh Duong.
He also knocked Tung out of the top position in the race for the green jersey. Tam now has 66 points, six more than runner-up Tung.
In the amateur race, Nguyen Van Huong of 5 Gau A Luot-Long Xuyen proved his power when continuing as leader after five stages. Huong's time came to 12:40.00.
The tour will see racers take on the 119km route from Rach Gia City to Chau Doc Town today. — VNS