While motivation among teams is high, the unfamiliar course and end of season form among competitors makes the event more of a tactical guessing game than usual.
Orica-Scott are set to line up with a strong seven rider squad led by top sprinter Caleb Ewan and Tour of Poland stage winner Jack Haig. Five out of the six stages nod towards the sprinters with Ewan expecting a tough and competitive race.
”It’s a brand new race and straight into the WorldTour calendar,” said Ewan. ”I think it will be a tough race, all of the riders have a full season in their legs and I’m sure it is going to be hard to do well in.”
Ewan and Haig will be joined by 2016 Vuelta a Espana stage winners Magnus Cort and Jens Keukeleire alongside lead out specialist Roger Kluge with the three fast men forming the key components of Ewan’s sprint train.
Danish engine Chris Juul Jensen and the versatile Australian Robert Power complete the line up. The team look towards stage success whilst also boasting a strong option for a tilt at the general classification, with Haig showing strong end of season form after good results in the Italian Cup one-day races.
“This is the first time that this race has taken place,” said sport director Matt Wilson.
“A big factor will be unpredictability. It is late in the season and the last WorldTour event on the calendar and out of our competitors we don’t know who will be turning up with any kind of form and motivation."
“On paper the parcours looks to favour the sprinters with only one day that is clearly a GC day, but we don’t know what it will be like and it could turn out to be an unpredictable race," said Wilson.
“We have a really good team with Caleb for the sprints and Jack for the general classification with a strong cast of supporting riders. A lot will depend on how it’s raced, but we are looking forward to racing in China again and I’m sure it will be an exciting event.”
Tour of Guangxi stages
Thursday 19th October, Stage 1: Beihai City, 107.4km
Friday 20th October, Stage 2: Qinzhou to Nanning, 156.7km
Saturday 21st October, Stage 3: Nanning City, 125.4km
Sunday 22nd October, Stage 4: Nanning to NongLa Scenic Spot, 151km
Monday 23rd October, Stage 5: Liuzhou to Guilin, 212.2km
Tuesday 24th October, Stage 6: Guilin, 168.1km