Everybody knows what large country China actually is. But not many of us could imagine how big it really is. Allthough we knew that with its 1,4 billion people China has almost 20% of the world's population, it was hard to realize what that means in reality. People whereever you look, cars everywhere and just crowded places one after another.
While cities as Berlin are already huge in our middle European understanding, it is not worth to talk about small towns like this in China. It starts with 10 million people to be a city. And when you land in a city named Chongqing, you start to understand that this is just another dimension of everything.
Chongqing – the biggest city on this planet has a surface of 83k squarekilometers – the same as whole Austria (a country in Europe) – but with 4 times the population of Austria, 32 Million inhabitants. Awesome, insane or whatever you want to name it. Just unbeliveable.
A normal day at this Tour was a little bit the same than at every other stage race so far, but just longer with evereything, except the race. Wakeup early morning, breakfast heading to the race start, 4 hours of racing and then a short shower and 6 to 7 hous transfer by bus. Yes, indeed, transfer by bus as the distances in this tour are also unbelievable. On two days the organizer preferred to put the riders and teams into aeroplanes for transfer as the distance between the cities was about 2.400 kilomterers long.
Translated in European way of thinking: race in Frankfurt, transfer to Rome by Bus, then next day flying to Portugal for race and after transfer again to north of Spain. Awesome.
But the riders of team Stradalli – BIKE AID were highly motivated to show another good stage race and play an important role both in GC and also in the daily sprints of this race that is ranked in UCI category 2.1. While Meron Tehsome finished two times Top 10 in the sprint of stage 1 and 5, Nikodemus Holler performed also well in the mountain stages with his 5th place on stage 3 and 9th in stage 4 what took him to the 7th place in the GC at the end of the race.
Both of the riders got great support from their team-mates who worked really hard to put them in position or defend the position in the GC by chasing down dangerouos break-aways or just destroy the break in the beginning. Cycling is a team sport and without a team behind a capatain it is nearly impossible to achieve good results. That's what makes a team to a team, to act together, to suffer together and to ride one for all, all for one without any compromise.
„It is really great to see, how the guys sacrifized themselves for me to keep the opportunity upright for me to take this great result in this hard race. I am so proud to have them on my side and that this year this special team spirit is in the team“ Nikodemus Holler said after the final stage.
Meanwhile, Tour of China II is on the run, with mainly flat stages in this second week in a country that is so unbelievable and unique.