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Human Powered Health Cycling is in China for four race days to complete the 2023 Women’s WorldTour season. The team will take on the Tour of Chongming Island – on the outskirts of Shanghai – from October 12 through 14, before making the trip south for the one-day Tour of Guangxi on October 17.
Four years after the last, the WorldTour will have its traditional Asian finale with three sprint stages on the estuary nature reserve of Chongming Island followed by a rolling one-day classic-style race, the Tour of Guangxi, three days later. The parcours of each race offer plenty of opportunities for success for the well-rounded roster.
Sprinter Daria Pikulik has tasted victory five times in 2023 and will lead the team on Chongming Island. The 26-year-old is joined by Dutch duo Marjolein van’ t Geloof and Marit Raaijmakers, whose strength and turn of speed will be pivotal in the lead out. In-form climber Barbara Malcotti and Japanese champion Eri Yonamine fill out the squad and will both have eyes on the hillier Tour of Guangxi.
Tour of Chongming Island
Even though the elevation of each stage barely goes over 250 meters, the organizers of the Tour of Chongming Island have still managed to put a categorized climb at the start of every stage. Don’t be surprised if the stages are not won by a pure mountain goat though.
One of six WorldTour teams making the trip east, Human Powered Health Cycling will go wheel-to-wheel with accomplished sprinters like Chiara Consonni (UAE Team ADQ), Marta Lach (CERATIZIT-WNT Pro Cycling), Maggie Coles-Lyster (Israel Premier Tech Roland), Annilina Ahtosalo (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team) and Georgia Baker (Team Jayco AlUla) as they chase sprint success.
10/12 Stage 1 | Chongming – Chongming (108.9km) Flat
The opening day in China sets the tone for the week with a flat stage where humid conditions could play as much of a factor as the parcours. The sprinter’s teams will face a straight final 800 meters on a wide highway, with space enough for a classic field sprint.
10/13 Stage 2 | Shanghai – Chongming (128.6km) Flat
Stage 2 tours the east of Chongming Island, finishing the opposite way on the same wide finish straight from stage one. Stage one’s technical final left hander is replaced by a right hand corner where a strong lead out will prove decisive.
10/14 Stage 3 | Chongming – Chongming (112.3km) Flat
A more contained route on the final day, with a few more tight corners. The finish straight here is the longest of the week with a three kilometer arrow-straight highway finish.
Tour of Guangxi
The Tour of Guangxi does have a true climbing test in the final third of the race that is expected to split the race up. With the one-day classic following so many expected sprints, you can be sure that the powerhouses will leave it all out on the course to try and deliver a win on the final day of the WorldTour season.
Malcotti and Yonamine will face the likes of one specialists Tamara Dronova-Balabolina (Israel Premier Tech Roland), Anouska Koster (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team), Vittoria Guazzini (FDJ-SUEZ) and Eleonora Gasparrini (UAE Team ADQ).
17/10 | Guilin – Guilin (145.8km) Hilly
A 14-kilometer climb in the final third of the one-day race may prove the race-maker. The climb is in two tiers with a 3km section at 5% before an undulating plateau and a 5.5km, 5% push to the peak. Then it’s 40km to the finish line for the final WorldTour crown of the year.
How to watch
All the action from China can be watched live on GCN+/Eurosport daily with coverage starting from around 11 pm CT / 7 am CET.