Niu Yikui sprints to victory at the Chinese road championshipsWed 18 Jul 2018
Mitchelton-BikeExchange’s Niu Yikui convincingly won the bunch sprint in the road race at the Chinese Road Championships in Wenzhou last week, timing his effort to perfection to take the champion's jersey.
The first national champion for the Chinese UCI Continental outfit lined up for the race alongside teammates Liu Jiankun and Nazerbieke Bieken.
The Chinese road cycling championships are held every year in different places on different dates and 2018 saw the 160kilometre race take place in Wenzhou.
With three Mitchelton-BikeExchange riders in the race and extra support from his Provincial teammates, Niu witheld repeated attacks to go into the final able to contest the bunch kick.
A fast finish unfolded down a long and narrow straight with the mountains of the Jiushan national park forming a spectacular backdrop. Niu waited for his rivals to start their sprint before coming from the left and accelerating to win by a clear bike length.
Niu Yikui – Chinese Road Champion:
“It’s the third time I have raced on this course in Wenzhou. The last two times there were crashes and some misfortune, but this time the race went perfectly to plan."
“My teammates in the national team and the Heilongjiang team helped me a lot, and I was also lucky that Wang Meiyin from Shandong team had a mechanical in the final sprint.
“I feel very proud and happy to win such an important race and now I’m in my best form and I hope we can do well in the Asian Games and the upcoming races.”
Mitchelton-BikeExchange will line up in the Tour of Qinghai Lake in China from July 22nd to August 4th.
Photos courtsey of Chen Zhuren.