On stage four, Nikodemus Holler took the lead in the overall classification in the mountains around Shangrao, with his solo to the stage win. The decision was made on the final climb, which had ramps of more than 20% over 6km long. Suleiman Kangangi and Salim Kipkemboi were also able to show their strengths here, while some dropped riders had to walk up the climb. The two Kenyans laid their foundation for the good result in the overall classification and the victory in the team GC.
Beside Holler, Suleiman Kangangi was also on the podium as third overall, Salim Kipkemboi followed fourth place behind. In the end, the riders had not been able to imagine the fact that the result was such a convincing overall result, that came was a result mainly due to the teamwork of the entire team. Even if sprinter Tino Thömel sprinted to the podium again and again on the flat stages, he was the same way unselfishly working for the overall result.BIKE AID has already experienced many stage races.
Regardless of whether the enthusiasm of the audience, the landscape, the cities but also the huge effort the organizers take, all this can only be described with superlatives. Almost nostalgically cute are the efforts that are being made in Europe for cycling races.At the Tour of Poyang Lake BIKE AID was the first time at the start and the riders got surprised again. The Tour of Poyang Lake is the largest "non-UCI race" in Asia, a tour of the national Chinese calendar. In Germany it would be difficult to give such an event a supraregional significance.
In China the media interest is also great in this race, the logistics and the effort behind the race is breathtaking. How to describe this, so as not to be bored with constant exaggeration? Perhaps a small note: Who in Germany as a club ever organized a bicycle race, knows the difficulty from the municipal building yard alone to get 50m barrier. At the Tour of Poyang Lake, it is often believed that there are more barriers at each stage than all local authorities in Germany could ever get together.
But how is it to ride a "non-UCI race", the team is usually only taking part in the international UCI calendar stage races? Is it easier to win? This would be too shortened and too simple, because also other internationally, successful proteams are at the start. But still: The pleasant thing about this tour compared to others was that there were a lot fewer teams and riders at the start who have a doubtful past.
Unfortunately, there are enough teams at the UCI races in the world who have lost all respect and are taking the initiative of the organizers, sponsors, media, spectators and other teams on their feet. To race a race, which feels a bit cleaner, is definitely something good. But on closer inspection you will also find candidates in this race, with an inglorious doping past.
However, cycling in China also means long transfers and races in the "millioncities" on six-lane roads. If you have to sit in a bus for 10 hours after a stage, you also get the last spark of enthusiasm pulled out of the muscles and feel a little helpless on the small highway between the skyscrapers.
The Tour of Poyang Lake, on the other hand, is a positive example. Short transfers after the stages, which means that 1 to 2 hours are relatively "nothing", this is in relation to the size of the country. Also a good mix of nature and metropolis on the routes. Small mountain roads in a dreamlike nature, as you know from cycling from Europe, then again in the din of the big city exchange and be celebrated by the many spectators.
We will be back!