Three-stage sprint fest in the south east of China.
Now in its 12th edition, this UCI Women's WorldTour race has evolved and survived various iterations, its past winnners including the likes of Ina-Yoko Teutenberg, Annette Edmondson, Kirsten Wild, Jolien Dhoore and Chloe Hosking.
Stage 1 - Crashes
111km loop of Chongming Xincheng Park
Things were going along nicely: the break was caught with 10 kilometres to go and a sprint finish looked predictable. The big sprint teams jostled for their leaders including recent Commonwealth champion Hosking (Alé Cipollini), 2017 overall winner Dhoore (Mitchelton-Scott) and Wild (Wiggle High5).
But then came the first of two crashes, felling a key teammate of Hosking's, delaying her and her train.
The second crash came inside the final kilometre with Dhoore and Wild affected, leaving a smaller bunch to contest the sprint.
The plucky Giorgia Bronzini capitalised, beating home Kelly Druyts (Doltcini) and Silvia Persico (Valcar) for her team's first victory of 2018.
Key quote: "Super super super happy. Because we working hard with the team and the win doesn't come until now and finally we get it. maybe it was luck because there was a couple of crashes which we were not involved but sometime luck is what you are searching for." Bronzini
Aussies on the attack: Team Tibco's Brodie Chapman and Mitchelton-Scott's Jenelle Crooks got themselves in the 13 rider breakaway after 50 kilometres to go.
And the awards go to:
Bronzini scored all of the chocolates bar the white jersey (Persico) and the QOM (Lucy Garner).
Licking their wounds: None of the big names were severely affected by the crashes but several riders like Hosking's teammate Kalijn Swinkels didn't take to the stage two start.
Mitchelton-Scott's Canberran Gracie Elvin after the stage: "Sarah Roy, Jolien and I were all involved, luckily we are all ok and overall we are happy with how everyone is feeling and we will make up for it in the next two days.”
Stage 2 - Dashes
123km from Changxing Island back across to Chongming Xincheng Park
Aussie Shannon Malseed, or Dash as she's known affectionately, attacked with around 60 kilometres to go, riding solo until she drew Becker, Anastasia Iakovenko (BTC City Ljubljana), Dalia Muccioli (Valcar PBM) and Coralie Demay (FDJ -Aquitaine Futuroscope).
The quintet held off an unorganised chasing bunch and gained a maximum advantage of three minutes and 40 seconds by 25 kilometres to go.
Becker opened up her sprint in the final straight, outsprinting Malseed and the rest of the breakaway to gain her first victory in over 18 months. Dhoore led home the rest of the bunch over a minute later.
"I knew it would be hard in the end because it was a long day in the breakway. I felt it also in the end and you can never be sure... my teammates are so happy and even better for me now I see them smiling." Becker
"I saw the opportunity there and there was a lot of attacks going at that point and I thought I'd take the opportunity to put a bit of pressure on some of the bigger teams and see how I went. I actually got away solo which wasn't ideal but then some of the girls bridged across to me and we were all working all the way to the end and it's just fortunate that the break stayed away which is really not likely in the Chonming Island tour but so happy with today's effort." Malseed
And the awards go to:
Becker pulled on the yellow jersey, Bronzini the points, Persico the young rider, and Garner the dots.
Stuck in the middle: Yixian Pu (China Liv), Jarmila Macacova (Team Dukla), Andrea Santoyo (Swapit Agolico) attempted to bridge not long after the breakaway formed riding in no man's land until the bunch swallowed them up with six kilometres to go.
Stage 3 - Flashes
126km: 11 laps of a city circuit in Chongming Xincheng Park
Finally, a flashy sprint finish that went to script, for Kirsten Wild and Wiggle High5 anyway.
Wild's win was Wiggle High 5's first World Tour victory of the season.
"It was really good. Everything worked pretty well, we were relaxed and organised there were some attacks but as team we were really in control and confident. The last five kilometres was quite hectic and we lost each other but we find each other again it was ok," Wild
"The team did great today. We had a good lead out but then the last 200 metres I couldn't find a gap so I had to stop pedalling and find a gap on the left side which took me a fraction of a second too late I guess and I had to restart my sprint and then Kirsten already had a gap so yeah it's a bit of a shame because I really felt strong again and felt fast," Dhoore
Aussies on the attack: Sarah Roy (Mitchelton-Scott) went for a big dig at 38 kilometres to go, drawing several riders, but the peloton weren't interested in letting them go.
The chancers: Ina Savenka (Minsk) tried her luck attacking the bunch with 50 kilometres to go. Iakovenko (BTC City Ljubljana) chased but given her third place on GC, the pair were quickly reeled in by a Team Tibco led bunch.
And the final awards go to:
Team Tibco finished the race as the best overall team.