Offical Home of Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling

Becker outsprints the breakaway to take Zhoushan Island stage one

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Charlotte Becker won the opening stage of the Tour of Zhoushan Island, in China, as she outsprinted her breakaway companions at the end of the hilly 81.3km. The former Team Time Trial World Champion was led out superbly by Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling teammate Mayuko Hagiwara, then managed to hold off the attentions of Alé-Cipollini sprint pair Marta Tagliaferro and Barbara Guarischi all the way to the line.

“It was a really nice race. I’m happy, and I’m happy that the girls are happy,” Becker laughed. “It was a really good race, and I also felt really good.

Zhoushan 1_2

“The first 30km was really attacking,” the former German champion explained. “All day it was up and down. There wasn’t really a flat part, so it wasn’t really easy. The girls and I were following the attacks, and finally this one breakaway was going. I didn’t really expect that there would be a breakaway, but when I turned around we had a big gap. Mayuko was there too, so I felt good about it, but I didn’t work at first because I didn’t know if it would be a good group for us.

“But then on the next climbs I felt really good and was sure that the good climbers in the group weren’t going to drop me. That made me more confident for the final, and at that point I was really happy with the break.”

With the finish approaching, Becker and Hagiwara played out Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s pre-arranged tactics, as the former Japanese champion went on the offensive on the final climb.

Zhoushan 1_3

“Mayuko did a really good job, as we said before in the team meeting,” said Becker. “If it was a big bunch, or if she was in a breakaway, she was to attack on the last climb, which was about 3km to go. She did this, and a few girls were following. They caught her at the top of the climb, and it was pretty much downhill for 1km and then it was the last kilometre.

“I thought that maybe she was a bit tired from her attack, and I was just rolling in the front, but then Mayuko came to the front again,” Becker added. “It was really good for me because she did about 4-500 metres in front of me; it was a really good lead out!”

As one of Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s most selfless riders, Becker spends most of her time racing for others, but relished the opportunity to demonstrate her own sprinting prowess against the two fast Italians.

“They are quick, but I’m also not really slow!” Becker laughed. “I’m not really able to do a big bunch sprint, because I can’t really fight for my place in the bunch. I think I can do a good sprint when I have my space, and it was a really wide road so I think there was enough space for me!

Zhoushan 1_4

“I needed to start the sprint a little early, with about 300 metres to go, and I just gave everything and they could not pass. It was a really nice feeling!”

Time bonuses on the line gave Becker the Race Leader’s yellow jersey – in the race won by Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling teammate Giorgia Bronzini in 2013 – while Hagiwara’s superb effort earned her the blue jersey for Best Asian Rider.

“I hope that I can keep the jersey,” said Becker. “If the next few days are like today then I think my chances are good, I really had no problems today on the climbs. We need to think a bit about our tactics, because the rest of the girls are in good shape and we can try something with them.

Zhoushan 1_8

“The intermediate sprints could be a little bit dangerous, because the two girls from Cipollini will probably go for them,” she added. “We haven’t discussed it much, but I think the team feels that we have a good chance.”

1. Charlotte Becker (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)

2. Marta Tagliaferro (Alé-Cipollini)
3. Barbara Guarischi (Alé-Cipollini)

Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On YoutubeVisit Us On LinkedinCheck Our Feed