D’hoore close but second on the final stage of the Tour of Chongming
Sat 28 Apr 2018
After a crash effected finale on the opening stage and the breakaway prevailing on yesterday’s stage two, finally today a bunch sprint concluded the Tour of Chongming with Belgian champion Jolien D’hoore taking a close second place.
Mitchelton-SCOTT were aggressive throughout the 126kilometre race with motivation to get a stage victory. After multiple attacks, nothing was able to stick with many teams trying to control the race, in the end, it came down to a large group sprint were Kirsten Wild (Wiggle-High5) edged out the Belgian champion to the victory.
Unlike the previous stages today’s final stage was held on a fast circuit. The riders completed 11 laps of 11.5kilometres on wide open roads with high speed corners and bonus seconds up for grabs in the intermediate sprints, the race was active throughout.
After 53kilometres, D’hoore took third place in the third sprint, the perfect opportunity to test the legs on the same finishing straight, before the final show down.
General classification control
The race leading team Hitec-Products controlled the speed in the bunch for most of the stage with the GC still open to change.
Within the final five laps the real action started with numerous attacks including a very strong attack from Sarah Roy with 38kilometres to go. Five riders jumped across as Roy opened up a gap but their efforts were short lived with Team Virtu closing down the move.
After the team tried relentlessly to force a move, non were able to stay away so they turned all their attention to the final sprint. Many team’s were eager to have a sprint, so the race was compact and controlled for the final two laps with no riders able to attack.
"We wanted to make it an attractive race with lots of attacking but no team was keen to ride with us. The girls tried a lot, but nothing succeeded. Then we decided to go all in for the final sprint for me.
"The lead-out was great, but with 400metres to go, Roy couldn’t find a gap on the right side so we were boxed in on the right. I stopped pedalling and went around on the left but by then Kirsten already launched her sprint.
"I felt that I could produce more speed than her so I came really close but it was too late. I’m quite dissapointed to not give the girls a victory but we can take lessons out of it and take it with us to the next race.
"We definitely gained a lot of confidence with our sprint group and we know if we do everything perfectly, we can really nail every sprint.
"The racing in China was bit different then other years with a breakaway that could survive and took away GC. A lot of teams were racing very negative. But it is, what it is and we will come back stronger out of this."
Tour of Chongming stage 3:
1. Kirsten Wild (Wiggle-High5)
2. Jolien D’hoore (Mitchelton-SCOTT)
3. Giorgia Bronzini (Cylance)
Final general classification:
1. Charlotte Becker (Hitec-Products)
Photo courtesy of Getty Images