Sources: linked throughout text
The Tour of Chongming Island was not the walkover expected of the larger UCI teams. The first and third stages were taken by popular Taiwanese rider Ting Ying Huang, and she lost the overall by just 1 second to Wiggle H5’s Chloe Hosking, due to bonus points and a consistent performance throughout the race. Leah Kirchmann of Liv Plantur came in third overall. There were stand out performances from Jip van den Bos and Ilona Hoeksma of Parkhotel Valkenburg who both picked up stage podium places, with van den Bos also taking the best young rider jersey. BTC City Ljubljana’s Eugenia Bujak animated the last stage with a solo breakaway for much of the race, and Hitec’s Emilie Moberg put in a spirited performance, with a very close fourth on the second stage. You can see the full results here, and videos of all stages here or shorter UCI highlights on their Youtube channel.
Mara Abbott (Wiggle H5 but racing for Amy D Foundation) took the Tour of the Gila, beating Kristin Armstrong of Twenty 16 by a solid 3 minutes. Jasmin Glaesser of Rally continued proving her increasing talent with a third place, just 1 second ahead of Tibco-SVB’s Brianne Walle. The rest of the top ten was completed by Linda Villumsen and Katie Hall (UHC), Lauren Stephens (Tibco), Scotti Lechuga and Eri Yonamine (both HB Supermint). Abbott won the first stage by over 2 minutes and kept her GC lead throughout the race. The third stage ITT had some surprisingly poor performances from most of the top ten, especially World ITT champion Villumsen. Armstrong won it easily, another bouquet of points to help her towards Rio 2016 along with her second place. Full results here, no video in the end though 🙁
Marianne Vos won the Rabobank 7-Dorpenomloop Aalburg, with Lauren Kitchen (Hitec) also putting in a huge performance to get second, just 2 seconds behind as they broke away towards the end of the race. Anouk Rijff (Lotto Soudal Ladies) was the first of the remaining riders, taking third 46 seconds down. Full results here, short video highlights here. It’ll be interesting to see if Vos goes to the Amgen Tour, as most of the top contenders bar Liv Plantur will be there.
On Sunday Lotte Kopecky of Lotto Soudal got her first ever pro win at the Trofee Maarten Wynants, part of the Lotto Cycling Cup. Kopecky has her sights on the Belgian national road championship, so this will be a big confidence boost. Again Lauren Kitchen got a very close second, with Kelly Druyts (TSVL Etixx Guill D’or) third, getting her first podium place of the season and jumping to the top of the Lotto Cycling Cup ranking. Monique van der Ree (Lares Waowdeals) was an agonisingly close fourth, perhaps a sign that Lares need to tighten up their approach to shift their top ten places up towards the podium. Full results here, Lotto Cycling Cup ranking here (PDF). No video in the end, booooooo. Probably because Tom Boonen was at the mens race, because even the podium finishers there didn’t get featured in the news item on TV Limburg.
Stealth UCI calender changes caught me out again, I didn’t see that the Vuelta Femenina a Costa Rica had been moved so as not to clash with the Amgen Tour. Cuban rider Arlenis Sierra took the win, with Astana’s Ingrid Drexel second and Flavia Oliveira (Lensworld Zannata Etixx) getting a hard fought for third (she mentioned later on social media she was unhappy about tactics from other riders). Full results here, Sarah Connolly’s blog has some videos here.
Several teams who were at Chongming Island are currently at the Tour of Zhoushan Island, which is finishing today. Apart from two Venuzuelan races ( Copa Federacion Venezolana de Ciclismo and Clasico FVCiclismo Corre Por la VIDA) this week, team will be preparing for the Amgen Tour of California starting on the 19th May next week.