Beijing Shimano Festival – 2008 Olympic course – 25 August
After an holiday break in the extraordinary natural wonder of Yunnan province, I’m back on the saddle. The second stage of the China Shimano Festival takes place in Beijing, Laoshan, on the same course of 2008 Olympic cross country race.
I get to the race venue on Friday to have a full day to get familiar with the course. Not even 4 km per lap, but this course is probably the best I’ve seen in China so far. wouldn’t expect anything less from an Olympic course. The venue is in Laoshan park, just 20 min metro ride from Tian An Men square. so if you in Beijing for a few days and want get in a good off road ride this is the place! the course is open daytime and the entrance is free.
The festival is spread over 2 days. Saturday road cycling and Sunday mountain biking. I am registered for the individual elite mtb race and for the team relay.The individual race starts in late morning. Off the line, the pace is really high and the best rider (Wei hui) a Chinese guy racing for Specialized, sets an incredible pace since the first lap. I have never been a good starter, but I manage to stay in third position. on the second lap I need to slow a bit the pace to recover, and two riders catch me. third and fourth lap I pay the price for the lack of specific training in the past month. At the end I’m 5thand pretty happy with my result.
Only two hours later, just the time for a quick lunch, it’s time for the relay. We’re 3 lads and 1 chick. 7 laps to race. 1st lap girls, 2nd to 7th the tree guys. I am the last. My team mates are all pretty quick and we’re pretty confident.
Off the line Xixi, our girl gets a 20 sec. Advantage on the second team. My other two team mates ride 2 laps each and increase the gap to a couple of minutes. I just need to finish the job. I feel much stronger than earlier and manage to gain 4 minutes over the chasing team.
Finally a victory, I know that’s in a relay but it doesn’t mean it’s not important.
P.S. Congratulations to the rest of Bike Asia team that this weekend raced in Xingping, Yansghuo. Good job! Wish I was there