Chongming to host only multi-day women's cycling tour in China

Li Xinran
The Tour of Chongming Island – UCI Women's WorldTour 2023 will be held from tomorrow through Saturday, making it the only women's multi-day tour in China.
Li Xinran
Chongming to host only multi-day women's cycling tour in China

The Tour of Chongming Island – UCI Women's WorldTour 2023 will be held from tomorrow through Saturday, making it the only women's multi-day tour in China as well as a qualifying event for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Based on the team level and competitive level, the organizing committee finally selected 18 top ranked teams from around the world to participate in the competition.

A total of 108 cyclists from 13 countries and regions, covering Europe, North and South America, Oceania and Asia, will attend. A bicycle carnival with the theme of "Riding in the beautiful and leisurely Chongming" will be held during the competition.

A cycling culture square, themed exhibitions, food zone, and cycling souvenir area will be set up, and a series of activities will be carried out, allowing visitors to experience the charm and fun of cycling on the island.

In the three-day competition, the total mileage of all stages would be 349.8 kilometers. According to the schedule, the first stage (Chongxi Stage) will take place tomorrow, starting from Xincheng Park and passing through Lotus Expo Park and Mingzhu Lake Park, covering 108.9 kilometers.

On Friday, the second stage (Chongdong Stage) will be held. The contestants will depart from Changxing Island Country Park, pass over the Yangtze River Bridge, and through Dongtan Avenue and Shanghai Chongming Sports Training Base, and then return to Xincheng Park, covering 128.6 kilometers.

The third stage (Chongzhong Stage and Urban Circle Race) will be held on Saturday, with the race route starting from Xincheng Park along Chongming Avenue and entering Xinhe Town for cycling, then returning to the urban area for a circle, covering a total distance of 112.3 kilometers.

The routes of the competition cover the major roads of 17 towns and townships in Chongming and the Yangtze River Bridge. During the competition, contestants can experience the charm of Chongming as a world-class ecological island.

Chongming to host only multi-day women's cycling tour in China

Stunning U-turn at Chenjia Town – Gong Shengping

Luo Wenhua, deputy director of the Shanghai Sports Bureau, said the Tour of Chongming Island is a national A-level cycling event, at the same level as the Tour de France, Tour de Italy and other such events.

According to the organizing committee, the Women's WorldTour 2023 will have 30 stops worldwide, including 13 multi-day races.

Chongming Island remains the only multi-day race in China, and also the points race for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

"In terms of route selection this year, it fully reflects the harmonious integration of natural ecology and urban development in Chongming District," Sun Weimin, vice chairman and secretary general of the China Cycling Association, told Shanghai Daily.

"In addition to the starting and ending points of the two stages set at Xincheng Park, the route passes through landmarks and scenic spots, which allows riders to deeply experience the charm of the world-class ecological island during the competition," Sun added.

Since the launch of this year's competition, multiple high-level World Tour teams from around the world have applied to participate, including the FDJ-SUEZ, the UAE Team ADQ, the Uno-X Pro Cycling Team and other World Tour teams.

"The women's intercontinental teams are from 13 countries and regions, including the CERATIZIT-WNT Pro Cycling, and teams from Australia, Belgium, Norway, the Czech Republic, France, Switzerland and others," said Sun.

Five teams come from China: the national team, the Hong Kong team, China Liv Pro Cycling, the Hebei Women Continental Team and Li Ning Star Ladies.

The Chongming Island event, as a point stop for the 2024 Paris Olympics, will earn a total of 400 points for the champion.

Chinese cyclists will strive to win points toward the Paris Olympics in Chongming, presenting a fascinating and enjoyable sports event to spectators, Sun said.

Chongming District Director Li Jun stated that cycling is an environmentally friendly, low-carbon, green and fashionable sports event that closely aligns with the natural environment of Chongming ecological island.

Chongming to host only multi-day women's cycling tour in China

Cyclists breeze through the picturesque rural fields. – Ling Shuiquan

Chongming to host only multi-day women's cycling tour in China

A file photo shows cyclists darting out from the starting point during the UCI Women's WorldTour 2019. – Ti Gong

In 2003, Chongming hosted and organized the National Highway Cycling Elite Competition, opening a wonderful connection between Chongming and cycling.

"In the following 20 years, from the men's road national championship to the women's road national and international competitions, and then to the World Cup, Chongming's level of hosting cycling events continued to improve and its influence continued to expand," said Li.

"In the past 20 years of being associated with cycling, Chongming has continuously optimized the layout of cycling resources and gradually formed a distinctive and widely influential cycling brand image."

By laying out and constructing a leisure bicycle greenway, the main attractions and natural scenery of Chongming are connected, providing a unique cycling experience for cycling enthusiasts.

At present, a 413-kilometer bicycle greenway has been connected. Chenjia Town has been named as a sports characteristic town with the theme of cycling by the General Administration of Sport of China, and is currently entering a comprehensive construction period.

In August of this year, the construction of the Shanghai Cycling Center located in Chongming was completed,.

The first indoor cycling center of the city, it will provide strong support for the training and preparation of China's cycling team for the 2026 UCI Track Cycling World Championships.

According to Li, cycling is becoming popular throughout the district and has attracted cycling enthusiasts throughout the city and the Yangtze River Delta region.

"Many bicycle enthusiasts tell us that cycling on Chongming Island feels great. Not only are the supporting facilities very good, but you can also enjoy the beautiful natural scenery," Li said.

All primary schools in Chongming have offered courses on bicycle riding, guiding students to develop good habits of low-carbon living and green transportation from an early age, and also attracting more students to participate in cycling sports.

While mastering the basic skills of cycling, it is also possible to train cycling talent. A group of talented cycling athletes from Chongming, represented by Huang Li, a gold medalist of the Asian Cycling Championships and two national games, has emerged, contributing actively to the improvement of the competitive level and long-term development of cycling events.

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