Not yet in it to win it, but Chinese cyclists' obvious progression is promising

Four hard race days in one week. China Glory Cycling returned today to Nice after a week that has been good for the morale.

It has not been long since the Chinese riders in the team, Nazaerbieke Bieken, Xianjing Lyu, Changquan Xu, and Changsheng Zhang gained their first European cycling experiences. They rode on cobbles for the first time (Antwerp Port Epic), joined some Dutch criteriums, and found out about the level of races with WorldTour-teams at the start.

The China Glory riders had to work on their endurance, so they could last longer in the hard races. That was the main lesson learned, particularly after stage races like the Tour of Slovenia and the Tour d’Eure et Loir. Over the last few weeks, they spent many hours on the bike, to work on their endurance, which they partly lost due to the strong lockdowns in China and the lack of racing. Finally, the work paid off in the week with three Spanish races.

In Prueba Villafranca, the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon and in Circuito de Getxo, the Chinese riders showed prove of development.

Bieken finished Getxo, after having been sick earlier last week. He recovered well from his stomach problems and got dropped on only one of the final climbs. Meanwhile, Lyu impressed in Castilla y Leon, helping the team leaders and having significantly fewer difficulties with the level of racing. Lastly, Changquan Xu moved way smoother through the peloton than he did before.

Maarten Tjallingii, the team’s general manager, was therefore satisfied with what he saw in Spain. “The work the guys did in Nice paid off, their progression was obvious last week. It is a morale boost for the rest of the season. If we keep on working on our weaknesses, we will become better and better cyclists. It is promising.”

China Glory Cycling’s next objective is the Arctic Tour of Norway, later this month. It will be there where the Chinese cyclists are put to another test with several WorldTour teams at the start.

They can rely on the support of CGS’ latest signing: the Italian sprinter Matteo Malucelli. China Glory’s dream is to win its first UCI stage in Norway with Malucelli.

Pics: Judit Cartiel