Tour of Guangxi Women: Daria Pikulik sprints to victory, bookends season

Daria Pikulik with Chiara Consonni and Mia Griffin on the podium for the Tour of Guangxi Women 2023
Daria Pikulik with Chiara Consonni and Mia Griffin on the podium for the Tour of Guangxi Women 2023 (Image credit: Getty Images)

Daria Pikulik (Human Powered Health) won the women’s Tour of Guangxi one-day race, beating Chiara Consonni (UAE Team ADQ) and Mia Griffin (Israel-Premier Tech Roland) to the finish line in Guilin.

With her victory, Pikulik is bookended the Women’s WorldTour season as she won the first race on the 2023 women’s calendar, stage 1 of the Tour Down Under, and now the last race, too.

A breakaway of Lu Siying (Chinese national team) and Gulnaz Khatuntseva (Li Ning Star Ladies) was caught on the day’s second climb and, after a brief solo escape by Feng Lin (Chinese National Team) was brought back, the peloton prepared for a bunch sprint.

That continued the run of sprint battle deciders in China, with all three stage of last week's Tour of Chongming also coming down to a competition for the fast finishers. Pikulik's move to the top step of the podium in Guilin came on top of her two podium spots at the Tour.

How it unfolded

The 144.6-kilometre course included two climbs in the second half of the course but was otherwise completely flat. There was no live broadcast, a condition of Women's WorldTour status, and only a little information from the race as it happened.

Lu and Khatuntseva led the peloton by more than 4:30 minutes halfway through the race but eventually, the sprinters’ teams got organised and started chasing. The two riders were only 2:30 minutes ahead when they started the first climb, 2.9 km at an average 4.8 percent.

Khatuntseva led the break over the top and into a short descent before she and Lu tackled the main difficulty of the race, Yanshan Hill. They entered the 4.5-kilometre climb with an average gradient of 4.2 percent just two minutes ahead of the peloton and were caught before the top.

Victorie Guilman (FDJ-SUEZ) took the mountain sprint ahead of Anouska Koster (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team) and Tamara Dronova (Israel-Premier Tech Roland), and this meant that Guilman won the QOM classification since Yanshan Hill was classified higher than the first ascent.

After the descent that Feng Lin (Chinese National Team) attacked and stretched the gap to one-minute, but she was also reeled in with 25 km to go, opening the way for the sprinters.


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