Mixed bag for China Glory in Ronde de l’Oise

On one hand, we saw aggressive racing, particularly by French rider Lucas de Rossi. On the other hand, the team only finished with half the squad’s starters.

Especially the beginning of the four-day stage race was tough for the Chinese team. Sean Bennett crashed in the opening stage and did not feel good enough to continue for the next stages.. He did finish the first day but did not take the start in stage 2. Also, Etienne van Empel and Xianjing Lyu had to quit the race early. They got sick.

For Lyu it was a big disappointment to leave the race, as he is starting to feel more and more comfortable in the European peloton. “I am learning how to race in between the wheels, so I can rest more. I managed to move up in the bunch numerous times to save energy and have a better position. This is what I found challenging before, here in Europe, but I am getting better and better at it.”

His fellow countryman Nazaerbieke Bieken, meanwhile, was also slightly frustrated that his body protested in a race that suited him well. He recovered throughout the race and rode a strong last stage in France.

Lucas de Rossi was the team’s main actor in the Ronde de l’Oise. He was regularly visible at the front of the race. He managed to get in some breakaways, but unfortunately, none of them turned out to be so promising that he could contest a stage victory.

In the last stage, he bridged a gap between a second breakaway group and the first one, however, soon after, the race split in the crosswinds and things came back together.

“It is a difficult mission,” De Rossi realized. “Losing two team members early on does not help, as the battling for positions is tougher with fewer riders. I gave it my all in the races to force breakaways and hunt for success that way. Even though we did not make it into a successful breakaway, the sensations were good.”

The next race for China Glory Cycling is the Tour d'Eure-et-Loir, starting on the tenth of June and finishing on the twelfth.