Tour of Chong Ming Island

The Tour of Chong Ming Island World Cup was held yesterday on the Chinese island, close to Shanghai. The World Cup was the pinnacle race after an opening three day stage race held last week, serving as a warm up for the main event.

Chongxi - China  - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Hitec Products   pictured during  Tour of Chongming Island 2015 (2.1) stage-2 - photo Anton Vos/Cor Vos © 2015
Hitec Products pictured during Tour of Chongming Island 2015 (2.1) stage-2 – photo Anton Vos/Cor Vos © 2015

Team Hitec Products went into the race with the defending champion, the team’s Dutch sprint star, Kirsten Wild. With the flat courses with wide roads and nearly no wind each stage ended in a bunch sprint. Hitec took control each day and formed a lead out train with Lauren forming a key role as one of the final two lead out positions in the train. The team delivered Kirsten to two stage wins in the opening tour along with the overall general classification win and the points jersey win. However in the World Cup Kirsten was just heated by 2 X world Champion Giorgia Bronzini.

“I had a great week racing with the girls on Chong Ming Island, in this type of racing it really needs to be a strong team effort to set up one rider for a chance to win, we did this and although we missed the victory in the WC, we rode really well as a team and I think it’s exciting for some more races to come”

Lauren also won the queen of the mountain competition, taking maximum points on the top of the bridge that joins Chong Ming island to China mainland.

“It wasn’t the plan, I was just following to make sure Hitec was at the front and I saw the chance to take the points without too much energy, it’s a good sign for next week”

Lauren will now turn her attention to the second week in China at the Tour of Zhoushan Island which begins on Wednesday.

Photo: Lauren and Kirsten after Kirsten wins stage one. Photo credit: Anton Vos

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Lauren completes Hat trick weekend of wins in The Netherlands

Building on her win in Friday’s Dutch classic, The Ronde van Overijssel, Lauren turned her attention to the Ronde van Hilvarenbeek on Saturday and the GP Mengelers Drielandenomloop on Sunday.

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Photo: Henry Oosterling

Hilvarenbeek was a 65km national criterium race which doubled as the second round to the Kempen Klassement, which Lauren was leading after her win in Geldrop on April 26th. The open course did not lead its’ self to breakaways and after an aggressive 1.5hrs of racing the 50+ field was destained for a bunch sprint, of which Lauren was the quickest.

“I wasn’t feeling so good for the first half, I think after Overijssel I hadn’t quite recovered, but in the second half I started to come good and had good legs for the sprint. I’m happy with this win because it is very close to my cousin’s house in The Netherlands and it’s special to do well when they are there to support me.”

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Photo: Hommersom

On Sunday Lauren, along with her cousins, Henry and Karin, headed south to the hilly area of The Netherlands for a Dutch classic race, The Drielandenomloop, which consisted of 5 laps of 20km with two challenging climbs each lap.

Lauren again rode herself into the race and in the pouring rain took the win to complete a stellar weekend from a four rider breakaway.

“I really didn’t expect to win again today.” She said after the finish.

“Today was very different to the last two days, there was rain and wind and also small lanes and lots of corners, I like racing in the elements, its adds another dimension”

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Photo: Henry Oosterling

“I really couldn’t have had this success without the help of my dutch family Henry and Karin, not just for on race day but everything else, including a fair few hours of motor pacing” “Also all my sponsors in Port Macquarie, Rydges and Zebu, King and Campbell, Leicht’s Tyre’s and Auto, Organic Fitness and Roxsolt, knowing I have this support allows me to focus on racing and training 100%.”

Lauren wil now prepare for a two week racing campaign in China beginning next week with the Tour of Chongming Island, May 13-15, The Chongming Island World Cup, May 17 and the hillier Tour of Zhoushan Island May 20-22.

Lauren takes biggest win of career

Lauren Kitchen won the Ronde van Overijssel on May 1 in the Netherlands to take the biggest win of her career. The UCI class 1 event was a 143km loop around the province of Overijssel in the north east of The Netherlands. The course was a mainly flat lap of 126km and 2 finishing laps of 8.5km with numerous changes in direction and small lanes the race suited Lauren perfectly.

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photo: Sportnl

“The race just went perfectly for me! I’m so excited to take a big win in Europe, it been a long time that I have been racing in Europe and wanting this, so for it to happen its just so exciting!”

Team Hitec Products started the race with a key favourite in Kirsten Wild and this played to Lauren’s advantage with the peloton concerned most with the team’s super sprinter allowing Lauren to place herself in the race winning move.

“The first main move went at about 50km to go with a group of 9 forming in front, I was just patrolling this move as it was a big group but not contributing to the pace making as my team was chasing behind for Kirsten”

“Kirsten the came across with a few others then a second move of 5 of us went clear with the main team’s again represented”

This move contained former World Individual Time Trial Champion, Ellen van Dijk, Rabobank’s Anouska Koster, Parkhotel’s Natalie van Gough as well as Monique van der Rae completing the quintet along side Hitec’s Oceania Champion in Lauren.

“We quickly gained over a minute and with 8k to go we had 2mins.” “But in the final few kilometres we were riding so slow and the move nearly came back, It was a close finish, but I knew Kirsten would be ready if it did come back, so I wasn’t too concerned”

Lauren knew she had to wait till at least 200m to go before starting her sprint as the deceptively up hill finish was quite a long way from the final corner at 600m to go.

“The other girls in the break went very early so I followed and went full gas at about 180m to go. I past the girls in the final 50m and won by a length or so”

This result will propel Lauren to the top 35 riders in the world on the world ranking as well as the top three Australian riders.

Lauren will compete in two national level races this weekend to complement her training before heading to China next weekend.