Wiggle High5 team will embark on their final race at the Tour of Guangxi before folding at the end of the season. Team owner Rochelle Gilmore announced in July that she would not be registering the team for the 2019 season, citing personal reasons behind her decision to shutdown the successful five-year program.
Annette Edmondson will lead the team and will be joined by a series of strong teammates that include Elisa Longo Borghini, Audrey Cordon-Ragot, Amy Cure, and sisters Lucy and Grace Garner.
"It's the last race of the Women’s WorldTour, and it's also the last Wiggle High5 race ever," Edmondson said. "It's been a big few years of ups and downs with this team, and we’re all just hoping to have some fun, to enjoy it, and to go out with a bang.”
The Tour of Guangxi is expected to be a tough race, with a more challenging circuit compared to its inaugural edition last year. The race is 146km with a start and finish in Guilin. The route is mainly flat, but there are two back-to-back climbs, with the second ascent peaking at the 104km mark, followed by a descent and flat 40km to the finish line.
"This is my first time in this race," Edmondson said. "Last year was the first edition, and it was very flat, so for the second year they've added two hills. So it's going to be a very unpredictable race, because it’s flat for about 85km, and then there’s a Cat 3 climb and a Cat 2 climb straight afterwards.
"It's going to be interesting to see where everyone's at, because some of the girls will have had a break after Worlds, and then coming back in, and others will have had an earlier break and will be targeting this. It's going to be interesting to see if the girls that did the Worlds have held on to their form or not, whereas the sprinters are going to be hoping they can hold on over those pinchers.
"Whereas the climbers are going to be trying to break it up, like the Mitchelton-Scott team in particular has definitely sent over a bit of a climbing team," she said regarding Mitchelton-Scott's top climber Amanda Spratt.
Wiggle will also field strong climbers in Longo Borghini and Cordon-Ragot, while sprinters Edmondson and Lucy Garner will be saved to compete in a potential bunch kick.
"As for us, we've got all options covered," Edmondson said. "We’ve got hill climbers in Elisa and Audrey, we’ve got some sprinters here, and we’ve got some all rounders here. So I think we’ll have most of the options covered, but we’re just hoping to have a really good race."
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