Tour of Qinghai Lake (HC), China
Winners, podium, distance, average speed
The Tour of Qinghai Lake is a highly rated professional bike race held around, of course, Qinghai Lake, China's largest inland body of salt water. Qinghai is a west-central province of the People's Republic of China. The Tour of Qinghai Lake is part of the UCI Asia Tour, one of the five UCI Continental Circuits (along with Europe, Africa, Oceania and Americas circuits). It was promoted to "HC" status in 2005.
The race is challenging because it takes place on the Tibetan Plateau, which has an average elevation of 3000 meters. Historically, it has featured some difficult climbing along with flatter stages that favor sprinters.
The race is held in mid-July, the same time as the Tour de France.
I suggest clicking on the 2009 edition link below for a lovely gallery of photographs.
More information about the Tour of Qinghai Lake
|Year||1st Place||2nd Place||3rd Place||Distance||Average
26hr 5min 32sec
|Ghader Mizbani||Wang Gou Zhang||1131 km||43.35|
29hr 51min 8sec
|Ghader Mizbani||Jeff Louder||1292 km||43.28|
30hr 2min 51sec
@ 1min 38sec
@ 4min 19sec
30hr 2min 56sec
31hr 47min 28sec
30hr 50min 38sec
@ 1min 8sec
30hr 2min 24sec
@ 1min 36sec
@ 1min 40sec
26hr 54min 59sec
@ 1min 19sec
28hr 40min 28sec
@ 1min 2sec
41hr 43min 1sec
|Giovanny Manuel Baez
46hr 20min 49sec
@ 1min 6sec
51hr 39min 58sec
More on the Tour of Ginhai Lake:
The Growth of Tour of Qinghai Lake
The race started modestly at UCI 2.5 class in 2002 in Qinghai Province, China, and held annually with steady improvements and climbed the ranks to the highest of 2.HC in 2005 till today. Qinghai Lake, literally means “Blue Lake”, is the largest salt water lake in China, lies about 151km west of the Qinghai capital city Xining located at 3,205 m (10,515 feet) above sea level in a depression of the Tibetan Plateau some 40 million years ago. TdQL today proved to be the most prestigious and biggest international professional cycling event in China with total prize money of US$300,000 in 2010.
As the name implies the tour normally starts in Xining and heads northwest to circle around Qinghai Lake, along the way riders will pass the well-known lofty Kunlun Mountain ranges in the south and Qilian Mountain in the north. Riders should therefore prepare themselves well to attack KOMs of around 3000-4000m high including 3 hors categories. With more obstacles of thin air and cold wind plus sometimes rain the race will often turn into a very tough highland challenge as described by many as “The Highest Race in the World”.
On the bright side riders can also enjoy the beauty of this highland here which lies in its salty vastness and the remote peace that it instills. The colours that can be found around the lake are of purity and contrasts, from the deep yellows of oil seed rape against the cold blues of the lake to the dark green of distant mountains against the fluffy white clouds.
Highlights of the lake include the Bird Island, a peninsular in the westernmost part of the lake and the most impressive sight, especially in season. For most of the summer rare species can be seen here in great multitude. The cuisine at the lake is also of interest, composed of variations on a fish theme. Especially notable is the naked carp, whose tender flesh is served in most local restaurants and hostels.
The tour usually runs for 9 days in mid July where the weather is less severe for a total distance of around 1200km. In 2010 it attracted 21 teams of 147 riders from all continents around the world comprising of 2 Pro Continental teams, 11 Continental teams, 7 National teams and one team from Hong Kong. And the champion (GC) of 2010 Tour of Qinghai Lake was Hossein Askari from Tabiz Petrochemical Cycling Team (TPT), Iran, who has clocked 26.54.59 hrs. in total.
As the next edition is approaching near, the organizer is trying hard to make the 10th edition a very special and biggest ever. An early preparation is now underway to make sure that every detail will be taken care of. We look forward to seeing another page of a successful Tour of Qinghai Lake, “The Highest Race in the World”.
By Yanyong Charoenpong