Hong Kong’s Rio road racing hopes boosted after Yang Qianyu wins in Thailand
Hopes given a boost Yang wins the Princess Maha Chackri Sirindhon’s Cup “Women’s Tour of Thailand” over the weekend
Hong Kong revitalised their hopes of sending a women’s road racer to the Rio Olympics after Yang Qianyu won the Princess Maha Chackri Sirindhon’s Cup “Women’s Tour of Thailand” over the weekend.
It was the third consecutive year a Hong Kong rider was crowned the champion of the UCI 2.2 tour after Meng Zhaojuan won the yellow jersey in both 2014 and 2015.
Meng, the Hong Kong leading rider, was seriously injured during her practice prior to the Asian Championships in Japan in January and is struggling to regain her top form.
But Yang rose to the occasion to finish off the job in the three-day race. She was in the sixth place after the first two days, but the 22 year-old was able to clinch victory in the final 70-kilometre race from Nong Khai to Udon Thani, beating Huang Ting-Ying of Taiwan into second place by a mere three seconds in the general classification. The third place went to Nguyen Thi Thi of Vietnam.
Yang collected a total 48 UCI points in the tour and temporarily moves back to the world’s top 100 in the qualification. A top 100 place is the minimum requirement to book a ticket to Rio this summer.
“It was a good performance from Yang and her teammates as well. They covered Yang well in the final race,” said head coach Shen Jinkang. “We still have another important race in Shanghai next month where we need a good result to bolster our qualification hopes.”
The Tour of Chongming Island in Shanghai on May 6-8 will be the first race of the women’s world tour season before the qualification closes in May.
The Hong Kong team will now return to Kunming for preparatory altitude training.