Guiyang International MTB

A Whirlwind Trip to China

In September I saw a Tweet from Simon Burney about an opportunity for Elite riders to race in an international event in China. It sounded interesting so I sent it on to Mel Alexander to see if she was interested. 2 weeks later, after a bit of last minute running around to get Visa’s we were both stood at Heathrow with Maxine Filby waiting to fly to China for a few days!

Maxine and Mel have both written some thoughts on their race experience (see links below) so there’s not a lot for me to add so I’ll just write a few thoughts down instead of a full story:

  • The event and the whole trip was great! The Chinese, the Scottish organising team and the UCI commissaire team had done a great job of getting everything organised in a fairly short space of time and we were treated really well throughout the trip.
  • The hotel was far better than any I have ever stayed in for a bike race and the food on offer at every meal was amazing-both in quantity and quality! Each team was assigned a helper (with language skills) and if we needed anything we only had to ask.
  • The journey to and from the course each day was interesting-I am still amazed that there are constant crashes on the Chinese roads as there don’t seem to be any rules except maybe “He who sounds his horn the most has right of way”?
  • A lot of work had clearly gone into the race course and it was good. It could have been more technical but there were enough tricky sections to make it a challenge. From a support staff point of view, the pits were pretty tiny and if there had been more riders there it would have been challenging.
  • It would have been great to have the option of another day or two to see some of China. Apart from the hotel and race staff I could have pretty much been at any bike race anywhere in the World.
  • It’s a long way to China. And even further back via Bangkok! 🙂

Click on the links below to get the full story and the racer’s perspective or scroll down to see a few photos from the trip.

Read Maxine’s thought’s on the event here:

And Mel’s thought’s here (scroll down or read through Nick Craig’s thoughts on the Tour of Langkawi first):

The first time I have ever seen a ceremonial table and tea service at a MTB race.

The honourable parade ended in this square in Guiyang. Then riders got on busses to be taken back to the hotel.

The middle of a roundabout near the hotel.

Typical early morning haze. The sun burned through about an hour later and it was hot!

Beijing airport is very smart-Olympic legacy I guess?