Mitchelton-BikeExchange return to racing on home soil at the Tour of China 1Thu 6 Sep 2018
Chinese UCI Continental team Mitchelton-BikeExchange return to racing on Asian soil at the Tour of China part one this weekend with national road champion Niu Yikui set to debut his jersey alongside a strong and versatile team.
British sprinter Jacob Hennessy and Australian Harry Sweeny are the non-Chinese riders within the compact squad and are joined by the experienced Nazaerbike Bieken and 24-year-old Bi Wenhui.
The seven-day stage race is in its ninth year and covers a total of 821kilometres over varied terrain that includes mountain stages and urban circuits that combine to make for a challenging event.
Nazaerbieke Bieken (CN, 24)
Jacob Hennessy (GBR, 21)
Harry Sweeny, (AUS, 20)
Bi Wenhui (CN, 24
Niu Yikui, (CN, 24)
2017 marked the team’s first appearance in the race with Australian Cameron Meyerfinishing in seventh place on the general classification 34seconds down on race winner Liam Bertazzo (Willier-Triestina-Selle-Italia).
Jacob Hennessy – sprinter:
“I am really excited to start my first Tour of China part 1. I have heard lots of stories from past years and looking forward to experiencing the race myself.
“I think it's a good race for us to chase some good results so I'm up for getting stuck in. It’s a shame that Drew Morey is under the weather and not able to compete for the GC and l wish him a fast recovery, but we have versatility and I'm still confident we have a team strong enough to do well.”
Niu Yikui – chinese road champion:
“After I won the National Championship, I kept working hard to reach my top form at the Asian Games. Unfortunately, the race course of the Asian Games was really hilly and it didn’t suit my characteristics.”
“I was riding in a support role for my teammates Bai Lijun and Liu Jiankun, but finally we didn’t get the result we expected. It was a great chance for us to compete with the top riders in Asia, and once again we discovered the big gap between us and the top riders.
“We have been training hard in the past months but still I think we need more races to improve our level. After the Asian Games I went back to normal training in Yunnan Province.
“Maybe my top form wiil not last long enough through the Chinese races, but with the great honour of racing in the National Champion’s kit, I will try my best to help the team achieve results in the Tour of China. I also hope in some of the stages I can have chances to go for a sprint, or even the best Chinese rider’s jersey.”
Tour of China 1, stages - 8th to 15th September:
Saturday, 8thSeptember, stage 1: Jintang – Huaizhou Stage, 90.4km
Sunday, 9thSeptember, stage 2: Pingchang Stage, 140.6km
Monday, 10thSeptember, stage 3: Bazhong – En Yang Stage, 158km
Tuesday, 11thSeptember, stage 4: Chongqing Liangping Stage, 84.6km
Wednesday, 12thSeptember, stage 5: Yichang Zhijang Stage, 127.4km
Thursday, 13thSeptember, stage 6: Qianjiang Stage, 113km
Friday, 14thSeptember: TRANSFER DAY
Saturday, 15thSeptember, stage 7: Xinning Langshan Stage, 107.2km