‘Plenty of meaningful learning experiences' for China Glory Cycling in Europe

It has been an interesting month for China Glory Cycling. The team participated in multiple criteriums, some bigger classics and UCI races. The Antwerp Port Epic was one of those races that made an impression on the riders, with its 28 kilometres of cobbles and 35 kilometres of gravel.

That race was a huge challenge, said team manager Maarten Tjallingii. “A very meaningful learning experience, particularly for the Chinese riders in the team.”

According to the Dutch team manager, cobbles and gravel skills are getting more and more important in professional cycling, and racing on these surfaces as a ‘young’ team will only benefit the riders in the future.

“In general, racing in Europe is so different from racing in China,” Tjallingii says, “but if the Chinese riders are put to the test in races like the Antwerp Port Epic, then they are experiencing something totally contrary to what they are used to.”

None of the riders finished the race full of cobbled sections and gravel sectors, however, team leader Hayden Strong got close to making it to the end. Unfortunately, he was taken out of the race in the final, as he had been unlucky with a badly timed puncture, causing him to lose terrain on the front group at the worst possible moment.

“That was unfortunate,”,Tjallingii said, “as I do believe Hayden could have gotten us a result in Antwerp.”

China Glory Cycling’s eyes are now on the races in June. Different kinds of races, as the team lines up for multiple French races.

On the 31st of May, the team competes in the Mercan’Tour Classic, a one day race with three categorized climbs and a mountaintop finish. Before going to Slovenia for their national race, the team participates in the Ronde de l’Oise (four stages) and Tour d’Eure-et-Loir (three stages).

It is going to be a busy and exciting month for China Glory Cycling, thinks Tjallingii. “We had a great preparation phase, with good training in The Netherlands and challenging racing in Belgium. The fitness of the Chinese riders is getting better and better. I am curious to see what they are capable of now that they have been racing for a longer period of time, after a long period without being stuck in China during the pandemic.”