Cycling: Lancaster rider races to yellow jersey in Stage Two of the Tour de Taiwan

James Gullen takes victory in Stage Two of the Tour of Taiwan.
James Gullen takes victory in Stage Two of the Tour of Taiwan.
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A Lancaster cyclist rode to a big win in the Far East.

James Gullen broke clear to take Stage Two of the Tour de Taiwan and snatch the leaders’ yellow jersey as he moved to the head of the field overall.

The JLT Condor man took a solo win in New Taipei City on Monday a handful of seconds ahead of a reduced peloton.

Halfway through the 114km stage, the peloton split as attacks came on the only climb of the day with a lead group including Gullen and team mate Edmund Bradbury working well to maintain their lead.

Using his time trial skills to full effect, the Lancaster rider put in a big attack with five kilometres to go and took the yellow jersey from Elvin Avila.

Bradbury sprinted to second to take time bonuses away from the Colombian ensuring the lead changed hands.

“When (team manager) Tim (Kennaugh) said that the group weren’t going to catch he suggested attacking the bunch,” said Gullen.

“It was a case of trying to use my TT ability and go for a long one.

“The conditions were much better than on stage one and I’d put in a mini TT effort and took an intermediate sprint, so I knew that I could do it.

“The yellow jersey was a good sprinter, so we didn’t want to leave it to a bunch kick.

“The icing on the top is the yellow jersey.

“I’m super happy to take the stage.”

The following day Gullen was dropped on the climb on stage three, an 118km route with a summit finish in Jiaobanshan Park, meaning he lost the leaders’ jersey.

Racing in Taiwan was due to finish in the early hours of today, Thursday.

Former Pedal Heaven man Gullen, an ex-team mate of Bolton-le-Sands’ Jack Pullar, is enjoying life with his new team in 2017, having already spent several weeks training out in Australia.

Excellent against the clock, the Kippax-born rider, has put in several top performances in the British Time Trial Championships and in 2016 broke several TT course records.