Women's Tour of Guangxi History
The women’s Tour of Guangxi is another race like the Tour of Chongming Island which is making a very belated return to the Women’s WorldTour calendar. Not held since 2019 because of the Covid pandemic, it’s felt like an age since the women’s peloton was last racing in China before this week. It also marks the very end of the women’s 2023 road season.
Back then, it was a race for the fast finishers. Chloe Hosking won in 2019 ahead of future Paris Roubaix Femmes winner Alison Jackson and Marianne Vos. The 2018 edition saw a relatively small bunch contest the win. With 12 riders finishing 3 seconds ahead of another dozen or so and half of the peloton finishing over 7 minutes back. Maria Vittoria Sperotto won the inaugural edition back in 2017, beating Amy Cure and Lucy Garner (now Van der Haar) to the line that year.
Unlike the Tour of Chongming Island, the Tour of Guangxi has historically always featured a mid-race climb. That’s allowed a chance for the peloton to thin out but it’s positioned too far out to really be a threat for the overall victory. As such, sprinters have an opportunity to close the gap that might have opened before they get to the finish line. Alternatively, those sprinters with some climbing legs will be fresher by the finish.
Women's Tour of Guangxi 2023 Profile
Women's Tour of Guangxi 2023 Contenders
It took 3 days but Chiara Consonni finally got her win on the last stage of the Tour of Chongming Island and also the general classification to go along with it. With a harder race here at the Tour of Guangxi, there should be fewer contenders at the finish. She’s still the fastest sprinter on paper here in China and should be able to finish this one off. Teammate Eleonora Gasparrini will be a good backup option as well just in case Consonni doesn’t make it over the climb in the front group. I suspect though the team will all drop back to pace Consonni to the front again if that does happen.
It was Mylene de Zoete who won the opening stage at Chongming Island but then the team sprinted with Martina Fidanza the rest of the way and it may have cost them a potential GC victory. De Zoete ended up finishing 2nd, a great result for her. The team will probably favour Martina Fidanza again here as their fastest outright finisher. There’s maybe a question about how she will fare over the climb but it all depends on how it’s raced and if teams are happy with a final sprint. I quite like Marta Lach here too but because of who the team has used in the last race I don’t think she’ll get a look in for her own finish. The Pole has shown herself to be very strong this year on precisely this sort of hard stage, however.
It’s kinda hard to pick the highest finisher for FDJ-Suez at the women’s Tour of Guangxi because they all kinda had a go at the Tour of Chongming Island. Vittoria Guazzini was just outside of the top-10 a couple of days but picked up a bonus second or two that allowed her to finish 11th in GC. Emilia Fahlin was 5th on Stage 2 and should be able to be a contender here as well, maybe not for the win but certainly a mid-top-10 again. Eugénie Duval finished all 3 stages between the 11th and 23rd spots too. If I had to pluck for just one then it would be Guazzini but Emilia Fahlin is also in the hunt because she is still unsigned for 2024.
Danique Braam had a solid 3 days of racing last week, finishing 8th on the opening stage before falling back a little bit. The Belgian is a solid option in this sort of hard race though, even if she won’t get the same lead-outs as the bigger WWT teams are able to provide coming into the finish.
Unlucky not to pick off a win last week was Human Powered Health’s Daria Pikulik. The Pole finished 2nd and 3rd but didn’t get to visit the top step of the podium. She was also 3rd on GC thanks to the bonus seconds picked up along the way. We’ve seen her climb alright and win stages at the Tour de l’Ardeche this year, so the climb shouldn’t be too much of an issue. On paper, she’s the closest contender to Chiara Consonni at the Tour of Guangxi.
Anniina Ahtosalo of Uno-X was another rider not too far away from collecting honours last week too. The Finn was 10th and 4th on stages and snuck into the top-10 on GC as well. She’s finishing the season off strongly after a 3rd place at Binche-Chimay-Binche before heading out to China. I can see her making the podium here.
Maggie Coles-Lyster got the nod for Israel-Premier Tech Roland last week. The Canadian did a strong job finishing in the top-10 on all 3 stages to collect 9th in GC. That should make her a contender here as well but just in case she can’t make it over the climb in the front group there’s Tamara Dronova too. The Russian did a job leading out Coles-Lyster at Chongming Island, usually finishing in the teens.
We got to see a little bit of form from Rachele Barbieri with her 6th and 7th-placed finishes at Chongming Island. It’s almost remarkable after her great 2022 season that the Italian has not finished on the podium at all in 2023. There’s one last chance to rectify that at Guangxi.
There was almost a stage win for Georgia Baker on the opening day last week but the Australian was just pipped to the line by Mylene de Zoete. I wonder about the climbing for Baker but she represents the team’s fastest finisher here and there is maybe a shout for Nina Kessler if things don’t stay all together.
Women's Tour of Guangxi 2023 Outsiders
It’s always hard to know how riders who’ve done well at Continental championships will stack up against the WWT peloton but Xin Tang and Luyao Zeng on the China national team did a great job at Chongming Island. Tang finished 6th on Stage 2 and took the young riders jersey by finishing 8th overall. Luyao Zeng finished all 3 stages in the top-10 herself with 6th, 7th and 10th. It will be interesting to see how they fare at the Tour of Guangxi with more climbing involved.
Former Alé BTC Ljubljana (now UAE Team ADQ) rider Jutatip Maneephan will be racing here. The Thai rider is certainly quick in Asian races finishing 3rd at both the Asian Games and Asian Continental championships this year. She’s always been a threat at the Tour of Thailand and finished 11th at Race Torquay in 2020 just before Covid derailed her plans for a European season. She could get a good result for might find herself struggling like Thi That Nguyen in her return to racing the Euro peloton.
Georgia Danford of New Zealand took Team Coop-Hitec Products’ best result last week with 9th on the opening stage. She was there or thereabouts on the final day too with 14th place. Teammate Josie Nelson finished higher in GC though, picking off a bonus second to finish 14th overall. With the climbing here it might suit the Brit more but both could sneak into the top-10 on a good day.