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加油 Jia You

We have been to a MTB Race in Tanggu. An extremely well organised race, must say. Not a flexible arrangement regarding signing in after dead-line or a self-decision for your position at the start-line, or where you want to watch the race, no. This is typical Chinese. Somebody tells you exactly what to do.
But in spite of these minor issues (we are not used to this in Denmark), then it was, as said, a very professional and nice arrangement.
I think Jacob got the information about this race. He is famous around here, mainly due to his bike ride from Beijing to Denmark. This also amazes the Chinese, by right.

There was actually also a qualification race the Saturday before. The riders could have a chance to try the route and the organisers could find out how to align up the riders in the start grid. Almost like F1.
We went there, even though it was raining quite a lot. On our way in the car, Jacob called me, and said that it was totally impossible to ride. We have all tried to bike around here, when it rains, Jacob is right, it is impossible. The mud-hell in Kloster skoven i DK is a smooth and easy ride compared to this. Here it is simply as glue. The soil is so fine, that it becomes like glue-clay. After 200 meter everything sticks and it is very difficult to get off the wheels, brakes... everything.
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So no biking this day. But to our surprise we saw that almost 300 riders has signed in, wow, that big arrangement. I thought maybe 50.

Well May the first appeared and we went again. This time in 30 C and sunshine, it will be a warm and dusty day. We arrived in good time, and Jacob and I was eventually allowed to start in group A (40 km), with the young people under 45. We were first placed in group B (20 km) but after signing a paper, saying that we did all this on our own responsibility, we were moved to A group.
Emma and Sally started together with the ladies (20 km) and they did well. Emma kind of found her good speed, and Sally fought her self through 16 km.
Jacob and I was supposed to start in group A2 at 13 o clock, but suddenly we were supposed to start all in one group, around 60-70 riders. A good idea, but somehow we missed this information, maybe because of the language. So we had about 3 minutes to fix the bike, get something to eat and drink, and dress. We managed and then we started.
It was fun to do some racing again, and after a couple of rounds (10 in all) I could sense that there were no extremely strong riders. We quickly establish a group of 7-8 riders, without Jacob unfortunately.
After some tactical riding we came home for the sprint. One rider took the chance from 500 meter and got the gap for a win, and I managed to become third.
Chinese are surprised that "old" men like Jacob and me can push our self like this. They really think it is not good for the body (maybe they are right) so we got a lot of thumbs up and well done.
Jacob was interviewed for the local Tianjin TV (he is famous around here), and with everything else we put our western-thumb up, and the Chinese likes that, and we enjoyed a nice bike day all of us.

Links:
TV News
Pictures
Routes
Race info

Jimdurain

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