Following the three-day Tour of Chongming Island, the Tour of Guangxi is the second race of in China and the final competitive opportunity of the 2023 Women’s World Tour season. The one-day race brings together 7 World Tour teams, along with 8 continental teams and one national teams, and will feature largely the same personnel that featured at the previous week’s stage race, but unlike the three pan-flat stages in Chongming, Guangxi incorporates enough climbing to present an altogether different prospect when it comes to racing tactics.
Just a few years old, the Tour of Guangxi held its inaugural edition in 2017 but only managed three editions before the covid-19 pandemic hit in 2020. Like the Tour of Chongming, the race has also been missing from the calendar since 2019 due to the impact of the coronavirus. The most recent winner was Chloe Hosking, who was then riding for Ale-Cipollini.
The race takes place on 17 October.
The 143.9km race begins south of the town of Giulin, travelling south before turning and heading north back to Giulin in a roughly U-shaped route.
The first 90km are largely flat, with some minor undulations, before a double climb which will test the legs and offer the chance for determined teams to try and slim down the size of the peloton heading to the final. The first climb is rated second category, and is relatively punchy at 2.9km in length and at an average gradient of 5%. The second climb is a tougher prospect, hence its category 1 classification. It’s longer at 4.5km, with a slightly more gradual average gradient of 4%.
Overall, the elevation gain totals 1,159m which is perhaps not enough ascent to seriously challenge the peloton, but a well-timed attack on the second climb could split the peloton and prove decisive in terms of the overall victory. While previous editions have resulted in a bunch sprint, there is also the possibility of either a breakaway win or a reduced bunch sprint, depending on the way the race is ridden.
Riders to Watch
At the time of writing the startlist for the Tour of Guangxi looks set to be similar to that of the Tour of Chongming, at least in terms of the WWT teams represented, and as such there are a selection of strong sprinters in attendance.
The greatest threat and race favourites probably comes from UAE Team ADQ, who bring two strong riders in Chiara Consonni and Eleonora Gasparrini. Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling will offer a stringent challenge with an excellent all-round team, including in-form riders such as Mylene de Zoete who won a stage of the Tour of Chongming Island, and Marta Lach and Martina Fidanza who are both fast at the finish.
Human Powered Health’s Marjolein van ‘t Geloof is a handy sprinter who can handle a few climbs so she could be one to look out for at the finish. Also from that team, Barbara Malcotti and Daria Pikulik have both ridden well in recent months and could feature if the races comes down to a bunch sprint.
For FDJ SUEZ, Emilia Fahlin and Vittoria Guazzini could both have an impact depending on the outcome of the race. So too Team Jayco Alula, who have Jessica Allen and Georgia Baker in attendance, and probably their strongest hopes for a result.
Other sprinters who will hope to make an impact should a bunch gallop manifest, Tamara Dronova and Maggie Coles-Lyster of Israel-Premier Tech Roland, Rachele Barbieri of Liv Racing TeqFind and Anniina Ahtosalo of Uno-X Pro Cycling. And if you’re looking for a real outsider, look no further than Hanna Tserakh of the Li Ning Star Ladies continental team, who was victorious on stage 2 of the Tour of Chongming Island.
Riders to watch (GC)
5-stars Chiara Consonni
4-stars Georgia Baker
3-stars Martina Fidanza
2-stars Marjolein van ‘t Geloof
1-star Maggie Coles-Lyster
When – 17 October
Where – China
What – One-day race
‘Watch the Femmes’ TV Coverage: Eurosport, GCN
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