Whether it's the Tour of Qinghai Lake or the Tour of Poyang Lake, each of these races in China has its own special character, is offering experiences and sporting challenges that are unparalleled. Our team has successfully competed in these races in recent years.We see the invitation to the Tour of Hainan as another reward for the ongoing development of our team as many other teams from around the world hope for a spot to start in this race. While winter is slowly coming in Europe and it gets uncomfortable outside, you can extend the season under the best of conditions and collect valuable race kilometers at the highest level. Many prominent names, several Pro Continental teams and a worldwide live broadcast (also in Germany) speak for themselves.
First stage, bunch sprint and Lucas in perfect position
in that way the tour started for us. A few hundred meters from the finish, Lucas made the jump to the rear wheel of Jakub Mareczko. But everyone wanted to go on the wheel of the Italian sprinter and it came as it had to come. At 70km / h it crashed violently, a lot of carbon shattered and a lot of skin was shattered on the ground. Everything behind Lucas, whose rear wheel was split into many pieces as other riders crashed into it. Lucas said he had somehow been in the air, why he did not fall, he did not know himself. He had to carry his bike to the finish line and the laurels of the stage win ultimately reaped others - Jakub Mareczko in this case.
Second stage and another sprint. An exhausting finale on slightly hilly roads and a slightly rising straight to the finishline were too much for Mareczko. The chance for revenge for the Swiss Dylan Page, who believed in the victory before Lucas Carstensen intercepted him on the last meter. The first victory in a HC race for Lucas and BIKE AID, the only one for a continental team, during the entire tour. It is not needed to add anything to that.
After the sprinters come the climbers
Adne van Engelen celebrated his first victory in the BIKE AID jersey at the Tour of Poyang Lake when he won the mountain finish on the 10th stage. He was captain at the Tour of Hainan, had to ride highly concentrated every day, so as not to lose time by small mistakes. He had to wait 1,300km for his moment to come. The 8th stage ended with a mountain finish high above the city of Changjiang. He took the lead with the best and finished seventh on that stage and finishing twelfth in the overall classification.
A stage win in the sprint, a top ten result at the mountain finish and a front place in the GC for BIKE AID in the debut at the Tour of Hainan. Salim Kipkemboi and Clint Hendricks also played a key role in this, as so does Tino Thömel, who brings his inexhaustible wealth of experience to the sprints. The two "oldies" Timo Schäfer and Matthias Schnapka meanwhile had their hands full trying to save their colleagues from the thirst for the tropical heat by carrying plenty liters pf water during the whole race.
Something that always comes up short: Thanks Yves, Sylvie, Anita, Floris and Nixon
None of these successes would be possible if the helpers in the background did not tirelessly put in a lot of sweat.For this tour over 9 days, this means in numbers: Fill and re-wash about 1,000 bottles, massage 126 legs, wash 100 wheels, repair and service, carry around 360 times suitcases in hotel rooms or back in the vehicles, daily laundry and much more. In between, drive endless hours in the car behind the race, always attentive to every second.
Felix Reimers (bernasonsports) shot the race for us, as well as the work of our supervisors. Normally he has fast cars and hot models in front of the lens, in Hainan only sweaty cyclists.
Hainan is a holiday island with dream hotels. Some rooms should have had their own pools, directly behind the sea. At least we joked about it at breakfast, we have the glories usually not, unfortunately no time. Maybe we should travel to Hainan without a bike race and just enjoy it.