Beijing, Great Wall team race – 20 July
Today’s race takes place in Badalin, the most known section of the Great Wall, approx 50 km north west of Beijing. This time is a team road race, and it is a rainy day. Fortunately the tarmac doesn’t look too slippery. It is a team race which means the final classification is determined by adding the times of the best three riders of each team.
Off the line the speed goes up to 55 km/h and there’s no way to get in a breakaway for the first hour. After a first half an hour trying not to get too much wind and save energy, we hit a few small climbs, actually I can’t call them climbs, they’re more like a fake flat or how we call it Italy ‘zampellotto‘ which is just a meaningless word implying that doing the climb takes the same amount of time as to say the word. I try as hard as I can to get away in those small climbs, but the chasing peloton eventually comes. The last few kms are a big fight to prepare the final sprint.
The classification is a matter of milliseconds and we ended up on the lower step of the podium,thanks to our sprinter who manage to get third. I’m pretty happy with my performance, sometimes when a race doesn’t suit you, just being in the right position to attack in the only possible spot, is rewarding enough.
On the way back to the hotel, the rain stops and I have the chance to have a look around me.. Beijing’s countryside turns up to be surprisingly stunning. Just an hour away from down town there’s a cycling paradise. Quite perfect roads rolling among green hills, reservoirs and flower fields. The greenery of the landscape it makes me even say. This could be Scotland! So If you have the chance I definitely recommend to have a ride around the Great Wall!