Xi’an race – 2 June
Here I am at the start of the silk road. As written in my previous post the race takes place on the ancient city walls. The race course is 5 laps around the walls, terrain 100% cobbles.
After a huge Lan Mian (spaghetti typical of Lanzhou region) breakfast we’re ready to hit the walls.
The temperature is over 30°C, rock cobbles do not help and on the walls it feels like over 40°C.
xi’an race sprint
Off the line no sprint as usual but a slow start as in a road race. First two laps go pretty smooth with all the big guns in the peloton. I don’t want to take any risk so I decide to race at the front from the very beginning.
Over the third lap, after quite a few attempts, I got in a 15 riders breakaway. My roadie team mate got in as well. After a quick lap to get a safe advantage on the rest of the peloton the study phase began.. My team mate tell me that we need to do something, and not being a quick rider I decide to try hard to break the group.. after 3 ‘all out’ acceleration we’re 8. I am the one who’ve probably been the most at the front. I feel pretty tired. It seems clear that is going to be final sprint.
I decide to work for my team mate, but 300m a quick Chinese rider form team Merida accelerates, my team mate drops back and cannot respond to the attack, I have to go. I sprint as fast as I can on the bumpy cobbles but the cannot catch the first guy.. I cut the line in second place!
Straight after the race I just feel pissed off. But after I while I realise that I actually got second in a flat race. I am pretty happy with this performance.