Penultimate race of the season for Mitchelton-BikeExchange at Tour of Quanzhou BayWed 7 Nov 2018
Chinese UCI Continental team Mitchelton-BikeExchange go into the Tour of Quanzhou Bay in China this week with a compact team led by Chinese road champion Niu Yikui and Australian sprinter Kaden Groves.
Following hot on the heels of nine solid days racing at the recent Tour of Hainan, Quanzhou Bay covers 273.3kilometres over three fast stages with one day for the GC contenders on stage two sandwiched by two opportunities for the sprinters on stages one and three.
Groves has the speed to compete for stage wins will have good support for the sprint days with the Australian coming in fresh from a solid block of training.
Alongside Niu Yikui, Chinese compatriots Sun Xiaolong, Bi Wenhui and Liu Jiankun complete the line-up with Bi and Sun returning after a break from racing and both Liu and Niu in good shape after completing the Tour of Hainan just over a week ago.
Kaden Groves (AUS, 19)
Liu Jiankun (CN, 23)
Bi Wenhui (CN, 25)
Sun Xiaolong (CN, 24)
Niu Yikui (CN, 24)
Held on the coast in Quanzhou, part of the Fujian province and beside the Taiwan strait, 2018 marks only the second year of the race and it is ranked as a UCI 2.2 event and forms part of the Asia Tour.
Won last year by Briton Max Steadman (Canyon-Esiberg) with Aussie Cameron Meyer finishing in seventh place overall in his last appearance for Mitchelton-BikeExchange before returning to the WorldTour with Mitchelton-SCOTT.
Sport director James Victor:
“We’re looking forward to returning to the Tour of Quanzhou Bay and we have a solid and compact team lining up for Quanzhou Bay and with Kaden we have a sprinter who has the speed and the power to compete for the win on both the first and third stages.”
“Kaden will be well supported and with Niu and Liu we have some strong options to get up the road in a breakaway should the opportunity present itself.
“There’s only one real climb in the whole race and it comes as a summit finish on stage two, it’s a long ascent, topping out at close to 1,000metres and that should be where the GC riders come into contention, it will be tough with eight kilometres at 6%.
“We will need to be attentive throughout, as there could be a real chance to get in a break on stage two and with no stand out GC contender we could have some opportunities from that kind of move.”
Tour of Quanzhou Bay, 9th to 11th of November:
Friday 9thNovember, stage 1: Quanzhou City to China Museum, 82km
Saturday 10thNovember, stage 2: Yong Chun, 109.9km
Sunday 11thNovember, stage 3: Quan Gang, 81.4km