China, every time worth a trip
Since 2014, since the beginning of our project pro-team, we annually take part in the Tour of Qinghai Lake. The two-week stage race offers superlatives and special experiences: the highest bike race in the world, the Tour de France of Asia, the enthusiasm of the audience, the nature on the Tibet plateau, the heat in the desert and the skyline of the big cities. All this is true, we can reiterate this every year and every year our riders are again so impressed by this extraordinary race.If you read the first report of our participation in 2014, you still get goose bumps, especially when you look at the pictures.
Our opinion about China has changed a lot due to our participation. And in the end, that is also the most important message, the most important finding that we discover in all the countries on our travels: Those who want to allow themselves an opinion about any country and its people should travel there and immerse themselves there. Then, perspectives and opinions change. But not in the hotel, club holiday or in the travel group to the standard tourist spots, but in which one goes proverbially to the people on the road.In the literal sense of the word we go to the people on the road every race. We go through the reality of life and experience a whole country on our own. And at the Tour of Qinghai Lake, the road leads us feeling close to the sky.
In 2017 the highest mountain classification of the race was 4.300m, 2018 at 4.100m. At the latest up there, the forces are dwindling, the air is getting thin and the legs hurt, you quarrel every second, but better quitt he race and put an end to the agony. If you then come back down to the lowlands and the oxygen level increases, you will be euphoric, at the latest when you get celebrated and surrounded by the thousands of spectators at the finish.
BIKE AID sets up wide
Celebrated on the podium was Meron Abraham's third place on stage three this year. This was followed by seven more top ten finishes for the team before Lucas Carstensen missed the stage win by just 5cm on the final stage and finished second. Suleiman Kangangi was the first BIKE AID rider to finish in the top 20 overall.
From a sporting point of view, it was the most successful participation so far. Meron Abraham is the fourth BIKE AID rider to achieve high quality results in category 1 and HC races in 2018. In the Route d'Occitanie UCI 2.1 (formerly Route du Sud), he made headlines in Europe when he took the mountain and sprint jersey on the first stage and briefly took third place in the overall standings.If in 2017 it was still primarily successes in category 2 races, which BIKE AID was able to achieve, the bar was set even higher in 2018. Lucas Carstensen, Nikodemus Holler, Salim Kipkemboi and now also Meron Abraham were already victorious in the category 1 or HC races or on the podium. Last but not least, Suleiman Kangangi, who finished third overall in the Tour du Rwanda last November and finished in the top 20 at Qinghai Lake. This wide lineup also regularly places the team in the lead in the overall standings.
View and enjoy the photo gallery
But back to the impressions to the Tour of Qinghai Lake. Japanese photographer Sonoko Tanaka has provided us with a selection of pictures. With these impressions, we want to say goodbye to the highest cycling race in the world for this year and hope to see you again in 2019.