Dutch sprinter overcomes a depleted team to take the sprint in China

Words by Owen Rogers

Despite her Giant-Shimano team choosing to take only five riders to China, Kirsten Wild won today’s Tour of Chongming Island World Cup race. The 31 year old won a bunch sprint ahead of Elena Cecchini (Estado Mexico-Faren) and Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle-Honda) in the fifth round of the Women’s World Cup in China.

Wiggle-Honda and Alé Cipollini controlled the race, preventing any meaningful escapes hoping to set up their respective sprinters, Bronzini and Shelley Olds for a sprint. It was Wild, however, who prevailed, despite losing a team mate to a crash in the final two kilometres.

“I’m super happy with the win today,” Wild commented after the race. “Things got a bit tricky after Willeke [Knol] came down with 2 km to go, but I got into the Wiggle train and started early. We were confident in setting the race up for a sprint and the team had faith in me being able to finish it off.”

The victory tops off an excellent week for the Dutch sprinter, who also won two stages and the general classification at the Chongming Island stage race. Indeed, Wild has been in scintillating form throughout the season, winning ten of her 23 races and the overall Tour of Qatar in February.

Chongming Island is in the mouth of the Yangtze River, near Shanghai. The 130 km World Cup race is so flat the Queen of the Mountains award is given at the top of a bridge connecting the island with the mainland.

Lizzie Armitstead retains her lead of the World Cup. None of her World Cup rivals made the trip to China, so the Yorkshire woman’s lead was never under threat.

The sixth event of the nine race World cup is the Sparkassen Giro in Bochum, Germany on August 3rd.