Human Powered Health Cycling is in China for four race days to complete the 2023 Women’s WorldTour season. The women’s team will end the year in China at the current three-day Tour of Chongming Island on the outskirts of Shanghai from October 12th-14th before making the trip south for the one-day classic Tour of Guangxi on October 17. The Tour of Chongming Island will have three sprint stages on the estuary nature reserve of Chongming Island followed by the rolling one-day classic-style of the Tour of Guangxi, three days later. The parcours of each race offer plenty of opportunities for success for the well-rounded roster. With plenty of flat days on the parcours, the sprint team heads east aiming to end the year how they began it, with a win.
Sprinter Daria Pikulik has tasted victory five times in 2023 and leads the team on Chongming Island. The 26-year-old is joined by Dutch duo Marjolein van’ t Geloof and Marit Raaijmakers, whose strength and turn of speed will be pivotal in the lead out. In-form climber Barbara Malcotti and Japanese champion Eri Yonamine fill out the squad and will both have eyes on the hillier Tour of Guangxi.
TOUR OF CHONGMING ISLAND
Even though the elevation of each stage barely goes over 250 metres, the organisers of the Tour of Chongming Island have still managed to put a categorised climb at the start of every stage. Don’t be surprised if the stages are not won by a pure mountain goat, however.
One of six WorldTour teams making the trip east, Human Powered Health Cycling will go wheel-to-wheel with accomplished sprinters like Chiara Consonni (UAE Team ADQ), Marta Lach (CERATIZIT-WNT Pro Cycling), Maggie Coles-Lyster (Israel Premier Tech Roland), Annilina Ahtosalo (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team) and Georgia Baker (Team Jayco AlUla) as they chase sprint success.
Today’s Stage 2 tours the east of Chongming Island, finishing the opposite way but on the same wide finish straight as Stage 1. Stage 1’s technical final left hander is replaced by a right hand corner where a strong lead out will prove decisive.
Stage 3 on the 14th is a 112.3km flat race Chongming – Chongming. The route is more contained on the final day, with a few more tight corners. The finish straight here is the longest of the week with a three kilometre arrow-straight highway finish.
TOUR OF GUANGXI
The Tour of Guangxi on October 17th covers a 145.8km hilly course beginning and ending in Guilin. The race has a true test in the final third with a 14-kilometre climb that is expected to split the pack and prove the race-maker. With the one-day classic including many anticipated sprints, you can be sure that the powerhouses will leave it all out on the course to try and deliver a win and end the final day of the WorldTour season on a high. The climb is in two tiers with a 3km section at 5% before an undulating plateau and a 5.5km, 5% push to the peak. Then follows a 40km to the finish line for the final WorldTour crown of the year.
Malcotti and Yonamine will face the likes of one specialists Tamara Dronova-Balabolina (Israel Premier Tech Roland), Anouska Koster (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team), Vittoria Guazzini (FDJ-SUEZ) and Eleonora Gasparrini (UAE Team ADQ).