The Tour of Ganzhou – a one day 90km road race was held recently and I was part of the Champion System Team from Hong Kong who went to compete for the big prize money available. 50,000cny (approx $7,352usd) for the winner and then it paid 20 deep. Top ten all got decent prize money. There was a team prize of 60,000cny for the best team.
A super strong Malaysian rider was imported by Specialized to race at the Ganzhou Tour. He had won stages at Tour of Langkawi and the Tour of Thailand; establishing himself as a deadly sprinter in the peloton! It appears that he will be racing more often in China now that he has signed up with Specialized, although there is also a Malaysian version of Specialized he will race for.
I managed to finish reasonably well at the end of the race; taking 2nd in the bunch kick for the line while battling cramp in my right leg! I also had a narrow miss with about 800m to go when someone in front of me slammed the brakes on and caused my front wheel to overlap his and I was lucky to stay up-right. However the sharp re-acceleration caused my right leg to lock up and I spent the final few seconds of the race controlling the cramp while still moving up through the field to finish comfortably inside the top 10 with my 7th placing. I was the second best of my team mates, one of them finished 3rd while two others finished directly behind me in 8th and 9th respectively. If you wish to read the full story of the Ganzhou race, you can check it here: Tour of Ganzhou.
It was a good race after not racing for the past six weeks and the next few weeks will feature racing every week in different parts of China. The next race is the Shanghai Series this Saturday where the battle for the Yellow Jersey heats up.