Shen will be happy with one stage win
Hong Kong coach Shen Jinkang has set his charges a target of winning at least one stage at the inaugural Tour of Hong Kong-Shanghai, which starts today.
The four-stage race begins in Shanghai with a 128km criterium race along new Jiangwan city and the 16 teams, including PuraPharm (Hong Kong team), will move to Kunshan, Jiangsu for a 125km race tomorrow. The last two legs will be held in Hong Kong with races in the Asia-World Expo in Chek Lap Kok (80km) and Shatin town centre (60km) on May 6 and 7 respectively.
'This is a race that carries huge importance in China as it links up the two most developed cities. Our target is to make it a tour racing on all Southeast China costal provinces,' said Shen, a Shanghai native. 'In terms of a target, we hope to win a stage and gain more experience of racing on a flat course.'
Shen said the road race at the Asian Games in Qatar will be run in similar conditions. 'The course for the Doha Games is also very flat as it is racing in the desert. We need more competitions of similar conditions so that we can get used to it as soon as possible.'
Many Asian states, attracted by the US$300,000 prize money, have sent their national teams in a bid to prepare for Doha. These include Mongolia, Thailand, Indonesia, Qatar and Japan's Ai-san.
Wu Kin-san, who will lead the Hong Kong team as Wong Kam-po is racing for his French side Tarbes Pyrenees Cyclistme, will take his place despite breaking his chest bone in two places during the Tour of Chong Ming Island in Shanghai a fortnight ago.
Wu, who says he will be fine to race, will be looking for greater tactical cohesion from his teammates.
'We do not have too many strong sprinters so we have to employ some good tactics. This is probably our best game plan,' said Wu who turns 21 tomorrow.
'All four races are our targets, hopefully we can win at least one of them so that I can have a good birthday present.'