Women cyclists pedal for glory as Tour of Chongming Island starts
After more than two hours of competition, Mylene De Zoete of the CERATIZIT-WNT Pro Cycling took the lead after the first stage (Chongxi Stage) of The Tour of Chongming Island on Thursday, putting on the yellow jersey for the best overall performance and the green shirt as the best sprinter, while Tang Xin from the Chinese team took the white jersey with the best youth performance.
The first stage of The Tour of Chongming Island – UCI Women's WorldTour 2023 kicked off earlier in the day, with 18 teams participating. Many of the cyclists have won the UCI Nations Tour and have performed well in famed tour events, such as the Duolar-Chevalmeire Cycling Team, which is the champion of this year's Tour de France women's race.
Among the Asian teams taking part in the competition, there are several riders who had just participated in the Hangzhou Asian Games, such as Uzbek duo Yanina Kuskova and Olga Zabelinskaya of the Tashkent City Women Professional Cycling Team, China's Sun Jiajun and Zeng Luyao, and Yang Qianyu from China's Hong Kong team, who won an Asiad gold.
At 11:40am, the Chongxi Stage fired its gun to start the race. According to the stage setup, two sprint points were set up at 46.2 kilometers and 83.2 kilometers respectively in the first stage, and a 4-level climbing point was set up at 16.3 kilometers.
The first stage of the route was generally flat, with an average elevation of about 5 meters, and the weather was cool, suitable for riders to perform at a high level.
After the race started, the "rabbit" among the riders quickly broke through the rhythm, but the peloton remained unmoved and formed a three-person leading team after passing the climbing point.
Behind them was a pursuit team composed of China's Tang Xin and Lu Siying from the China Liv Pro Cycling, followed by a big group of other riders.
After missing the first sprint point, Tang and Lu finally converged with the leading trio before the second sprint point. Tang then accelerated from the inside and overtook, reaching the second sprint point as the first to earn sprint points.
As the distance from the finish line shortened, the big group began to accelerate their pursuit and chased back all five of the previous leaders at a distance of 19 kilometers from the finish line.
Afterward, the riders moved forward in a group form, and at a distance of 3 kilometers from the race end, each team began to compete for a slot. After the last turn, De Zoete suddenly accelerated and raced past the finish line, winning the first of the three stages in 2 hours, 34 minutes, and 47 seconds, Not only did the Dutchwoman wear the yellow jersey symbolizing her top overall score, but she also took the green jersey with the best sprint performance.
Another Netherlands rider, Nina Kessler of Team Jayco AlUla, won the polka dot jersey for climbing. Although Tang ranked 58th, she achieved the best performance among youth in the white jersey. The best performance by a Chinese rider was by Zeng Luyao, who was the sixth to cross the finish line.