Sixth place for Roy on the final stage at the Tour of Chongming IslandSat 11 May 2019
Another day at the Tour of Chongming Island saw another bunch sprint finish to conclude the three-day tour. Mitchelton-SCOTT rider Sarah Roy took another top ten finish with sixth place with Lorena Wiebes (Parkhotel-Valkenburg) making it a clean sweep of stage victories to secure the overall general classification win.
An early breakaway
In the opening kilometres of the third and final 118kilometre stage, three riders jumped away from the peloton and opened up and advantage of 55seconds and remained ahead for the first hour of racing.
As the race entered the final six laps of a 12kilometre finishing circuit, the trio’s advantage had plummeted down and Olga Zabelinskaya (Cogeas Metler Look) took the chance to bridge across. As a dangerous rider and threat to the peloton, the bunch was quick to react and swallowed up the group with 65kilometres to go.
Bonus sprints and seconds
With three intermediate sprints coming in the final half of the stage, there were plenty of attacks coming from the peloton with bonus seconds up for grabs. Anna Nahirna (Lviv) jumped away before the first sprint to take top points and open up a small advantage.
With 40kilometres remaining, there was more action and two-rider took top points in the second sprint, and behind Roy won from the bunch to claim the final, third spot.
The last intermediate sprint came as the riders crossed the finish time for the penultimate time with 12kilometres to go and this time Roy picked up maximum points and bonus seconds, setting things up nicely for the final.
Ready for a sprint
The race leading team, Parkhotel-Valkenburg and Hitec Products-Birk Sports kept the pace furiously high for the final lap, not allowing any riders to break free and steal the stage win.
Mitchelton-SCOTT took over in the final kilometres once again with Moniek Tenniglo doing a huge turn through the final 500metres. Roy mis-timed her effort slightly and opened up the sprint too late with riders coming through a gap of the right side of the road. Wiebes claimed the victory with Roy taking sixth position.
After the race Roy was penalised 30seconds for 'not holding her line' during one of the intermediate sprints during the stage and moved from fifth place overall down to 72nd place.
"I had good legs today. My chest isn’t great, I got sick arriving into China but have been managing it pretty well. It was nice to see riders be so aggressive. Jess Allen, Moniek and Alex Manly did a fantastic job and I never felt stressed.
"We wanted to take a few bonus seconds with the intermediate sprints. I went for the first one far too early and didn’t get any bonus time so I felt I needed to be more patient for the final. I took the next two intermediate sprints from the bunch but for one of them there were two riders away so I didn’t get all of the bonus seconds in that one.
"After those efforts I was feeling good about the final, I knew I needed to go late. We rode as a team so well and we should be proud. Jess started our leadout at a good moment. Lorena Wiebes jumped straight on my wheel as we passed the peloton on the far left.
"Alex and Moniek had awesome power and speed and we started merging to the right which is natural when the road bends that way but it opened the door on the left for Lorena and the girls on her wheel.
"I waited too long, I didn’t have confidence to go any earlier but in hindsight I should have. It’s extremely frustrating to leave here without a result but as they say life is a journey and it’s all about the process.
"I’ve learned the most about myself as a rider in these last three-days than any other time in my career and I’m super thankful for the people around me helping me grow. I’m happy we tried something different for every sprint and learned something new each time, as a team we are inexperienced with this style of racing but we’ve improved a lot and Wiebes has the experience and also the speed, what incredible performances by her."
Alejandro Gonzalez - Sport Director
"We were a bit unlucky loosing Grace Brown on day one, she was an important piece of our sprint train, but team overcome this really well and we had Moniek who has been doing a really good and strong work for Roy, as well as Jess and Alex.
"We tried different options to beat Wiebes, but she was just the strongest out there. Roy is working well on her sprinting and we have made some good progression here, more chances will come later for her."
Tour of Chongming Island - Stage 3 Results:
1. Lorena Wiebes (Parkhotel-Valkenburg)
2. Jutatip Maneephan (Thailand Women’s Cycling)
3. Lotte Kopecky (Lotto Soudal Ladies)
6. Sarah Roy (Mitchelton-SCOTT)
Final General Classification:
1. Lorena Wiebes (Parkhotel-Valkenburg) 8:26:14
2. Jutatip Maneephan (Thailand Women’s Cycling) +0:22
3. Lotte Kopecky (Lotto Soudal Ladies) +0:27
50. Moniek Tenniglo (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:58
Photos courtesy of Getty Images