Tour of Guangxi: Daria Pikulik wins final Women's WorldTour race of the season

Polish sprinter bookends the WorldTour calendar with sprint victory ahead of Chiara Consonni and Mia Griffin

Clock08:31, Tuesday 17th October 2023
Daria Pikulik takes the sixth victory of the best year of her career

© Sprint Cycling Agency

Daria Pikulik takes the sixth victory of the best year of her career

The women's Tour of Guangxi followed the pattern set by last week's Tour of Chongming Island, finishing with another bunch sprint to decide the victor. Rising to the top after a string of podium places in the last week was Human Powered Health's Daria Pikulik, who powered to victory ahead of Chiara Consonni (UAE Team ADQ) and Mia Griffin (Israel-Premier Tech Roland).

Remarkably, Pikulik has now won both the first and last races of the Women's WorldTour calendar, having won the opening stage of the Santos Tour Down Under back in January and with the Tour of Guangxi ending the 2023 campaign.

It is the sixth victory of the season for the Polish sprinter who has continued to impress throughout the year.

“It feels like a dream to win my second WorldTour race,” Pikulik said after the race. “We had the perfect start to the season in Australia, and this is the perfect end for us.”

"Of course, it feels so amazing to have won the first and last race of the year but for me, seeing how everyone has developed in the lead-out gives me so much motivation for 2024."

Peloton takes advantage of the hills to catch breakaway

Although the 144km Tour of Guangxi route was flat for the most part, as the riders travelled from Dabu to Downtown Guilin via Yangshuo, there were two categorised climbs on the course which would prove decisive to the flavour of the finale.

A two-rider breakaway went clear with over 100km to ride, consisting of Lu Siying (China Liv Pro Cycling) and Gulnaz Khatuntseva (Li Ning Star Ladies), with the pair able to build a gap of over three and a half minutes as they passed the halfway mark.

It was a strong effort by the two opportunists, but they were kept at a manageable distance by a peloton keen to end the day with a sprint.

In turn, their advantage began to be pegged back on the first climb of the day, which averaged 4.7% for 2.1km. Khatuntseva went over the peak ahead of Lu to pick up maximum QoM points, but her hopes of winning the day's classification were dealt a fatal blow on the second and final categorised climb of the day, which began with 45km to ride.

Unable to handle the pace of the peloton on Yanshan Hill, which stands at 4.1% for 4.3km, the leading duo were caught on the climb and it was FDJ-SUEZ's Victorie Guilman who went over the summit of the cat-1 climb in first position to pip Khatuntseva to the day's QoM standings.

With the peloton together once again, a sprint became inevitable, even despite Feng Lin's (China Liv Pro Cycling) futile mini-attack. The domestic team had shown their intent but would be no match for the overwhelming power of the peloton, led by the likes of FDJ-SUEZ and UAE Team ADQ.

Jayco-AlUla showed their faces to the front of the pack from time to time, with Jess Allen and Chelsie Tan riding the final professional race of their careers, though it was down to the true favourites when Guilin came into view once more.

After two podium finishes at the Tour of Chongming Island last week, Pikulik was determined not to miss out on another opportunity and took the initiative in the sprint, powering to the front of the masses and sprinting to her sixth victory of the season.

Behind her, Consonni came close to ending her own season in style, but came over the line a wheel's length down on Pikulik, having accepted her fate. Israel-Premier Tech Roland's Griffin was the rider to sweep up third in an impressive display of her own, with the Irishwoman picking up the best result of her fledgling WorldTour career.

Race Results

1

pl flag

PIKULIK Daria

Human Powered Health

3H 39' 45"

2

it flag

CONSONNI Chiara

UAE Team ADQ

"

3

ie flag

GRIFFIN Mia

Israel-Premier Tech Roland

"

4

ca flag

COLES-LYSTER Maggie

Israel-Premier Tech Roland

"

5

cn flag

TANG Xin

China

"

6

pl flag

LACH Marta

Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling

"

7

it flag

GUAZZINI Vittoria

FDJ-SUEZ

"

8

fi flag

AHTOSALO Anniina

Uno-X Pro Cycling Team

"

9

by flag

NASKOVICH Talsa

Li Ning Star Ladies

"

10

se flag

FAHLIN Emilia

FDJ-SUEZ

"

Provided by FirstCycling

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