TOUR O F CHONGMI N G IS­LAND

Procycling - - Women's 2017 World Tour - 1 Chloe Hosk­ing 2 Huang Ting Ying 3 Leah Kirch­mann

It’s al­ways a chal­lenge to fit three stages onto Chong­ming Is­land. Mea­sur­ing 80km long, and 18km at the widest point, the high­est point is the ramp on to the road bridge across the Yangtze River. The Is­land’s ur­ban ar­eas are mostly built in grid pat­terns, with wide roads through the farm­land, so the ter­rain doesn’t of­fer many chal­lenges – but of course the pelo­ton bring those with them. It’s one of only two WorldTour races out­side of Europe, and be­ing very def­i­nitely one for the sprint­ers, a lot of the big Clas­sics and GC names will miss it, as it’s prac­ti­cally guar­an­teed bunch fin­ishes. But that isn’t strictly a bad thing, as af­ter the spring Clas­sics, it en­ables a new set of rid­ers to shine, and offers chances to the Asian rid­ers es­pe­cially - such as Huang Ting Ying of Taipei, who last year won two stages and fin­ished just one sec­ond from win­ning.

The or­gan­is­ers try to take the race off the Is­land, with a 2016 stage vis­it­ing neigh­bour­ing Changx­ing Is­land via the Yangtze Tun­nel. Be­cause it’s com­pletely flat, the in-race and fin­ish-line bonus seconds are vi­tal to the over­all, mak­ing the rac­ing full of at­tack­ing, and more ex­cit­ing than the course pro­file sug­gests.

Don't be fooled by the com­para­tively lat ter­rain – the sprints are bru­tal

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