Bi Wenhui avoids the late crashes in first European race at the Circuito del PortoSun 6 May 2018
A huge crash totally scattered the field going into a hectic final at the 52ndedition of Circuito del Porto in Cremona, Italy today with three of Mitchelton-BikeExchange’s Chinese riders making their first appearance in European competition.
Making his debut appearance for the team, Jiang Zhihuiimpressed, using his experience gained from a stint as a stagiaire with WorldTour team LottoNL-Jumbo to make it into the breakaway alongside Harry Sweeny and nine others.
A flat, 180kilometre race known predominantly as a sprinters event, unfolded as expected and after Sweeny needed a bike change and dropped back into the bunch it was Jiang who continued to work within the break for the Chinese outfit, steadily prolonging the inevitable.
The big sprinters teams ramped it up inside the closing 30kilometres and made the catch some ten kilometres later sand started to shape up for the sprint before a big crash split the bunch in half.
Sun Xiaolong and Bi Wenhui competing in their first ever European race, rode well with Bi managing to avoid the late chaos with the crash and finish within the bunch behind eventual winner Giovanni Lonardi (Zalf-Euromobil-Desiree-Fior).
Sport director James Victor:
“All in all, it was a positive first European race for our Chinese guys and the experience they gained today will be really important going forward.”
“Being predominantly flat it was a good race and initiation for them and Jhiang making it in the breakaway alongside Harry ticked an early box for us.
“We didn’t have sprinter to day withy Jacob Hennessy still recovering from his crash a couple of weeks ago, so it was important that the boys got up the road earky and trie to make it into one of the breakaway moves.
“The late crash on the approach to the final marred the experience somewhat as we lost Harry to quite a heavy fall and also Jhiang and Sun got held up, but Bi managed to avoid it and finished in the peloton, slightly caught behind as the sprinters ramped it up into the
Circuito del Porto results:
1. Giovanni Lonardi (Zalf-Euromobil-Desiree-Fior) 03:49:41
2. Moreno Marchetti (Petrioli-Firenze-Hoppla-Maserati) ST
3. Ahmed Amine Galdoune (Gallina-Colosio-Eurofeed) ST
Bi Wenhui (Mitchelton-BikeExchange) ST