Pedaling inheady altitudes

Updated: 2011-07-17 14:47

By Tang Yue (China Daily)

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Pedaling inheady altitudes

Spectators cheer on the cyclists as they pedal hard and fast. [Photo by Cui Meng / China Daily]

Pedaling inheady altitudes

A young Tibetan boy in traditional robes grins for the camera. [Photo by Cui Meng / China Daily]

Pedaling in the heady altitudes of the Qinghai-Tibet plateau gave more than 200 cyclists a sense they were on top of the world, Tang Yue reports.

The just-concluded Tour de Qinghai Lake saw 217 riders on 22 teams compete on the "roof of the world" - the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, where some stretches of the race reached an altitude of 3,800 meters.

Starting on July 2 from Xining, the capital of Qinghai province, the cyclists pedaled up and down winding mountain roads, alongside pristine Qinghai Lake, charming tadpole-shaped Bird Island, and endless fields of rapeseed flowers in the 1,330-km tournament.

Slovenia's Greger Gazvoda won the individual championship after the eight-day tour. He first took the yellow jersey after the third stage and successfully held it to the end. He also led the squad, Perutnina Ptuj, to the team championship.

First organized in 2002, Tour de Qinghai Lake has grown to become one of Asia's top races along with Tour de Langkawi in Malaysia. And this year's event for the first time included two stops in neighboring Gansu province and ended in its capital city, Lanzhou.

The competition will continue to reach new territory next year as the riders ride pass the Qaidam Basin, one of the four biggest basins in China.

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