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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
2002 Tom Danielson
Glen Chadwick Xabier
2003 Damiano Cunego
26hr 5min 32sec
Ghader Mizbani Wang Gou Zhang 1131 km 43.35
2004 Ryan Cox
29hr 51min 8sec
Ghader Mizbani Jeff Louder 1292 km 43.28
2005 Martin Mares
30hr 2min 51sec
Kairat Baigudinov
@ 1min 38sec
Valerio Agnoli
@ 4min 19sec
1287.3 km 42.842
2006 Maarten Tjallingii
30hr 2min 56sec
Hossein Askari
@ 1sec
Nacor Burgos
@ 10sec
1309.3 km 43.572
2007 Gabriele Massaglia
31hr 47min 28sec
Daniel Lloyd
@ 1sec
Francisco Mancebo
@ 8sec
1332.9 km 41.926
2008 Tyler Hamilton
30hr 50min 38sec
Marek Rutkiewicz
@ 10sec
Hossein Askari
@ 1min 8sec
1352.6 km 43.85
2009 Andrey Mizurov
30hr 2min 24sec
Ghader Mizbani
@ 1min 36sec
Mitja Mahoric
@ 1min 40sec
1278.5 km 42.559
2010 Hossein Askari
26hr 54min 59sec
Radoslav Rogina
@ 44sec
Kiel Reijnen
@ 1min 19sec
1169.2 km 43.438
2011 Gregor Gazvoda
28hr 40min 28sec
Dmitriy Gruzdev
@ 4sec
Mateusz Taciak
@ 1min 2sec
1,282 km 44.709
2012 Hossein Alizadeh
41hr 43min 1sec
Cameron Wurf
@ 9sec
Giovanny Manuel Baez
@ s.t.
1,854.8 km 44.462
2013 Pourseyedigolakhour Mirsamad 
46hr 20min 49sec
Yevgeny Nepomnyachshiy
@ 42sec
Daniil Fominykh
@ 1min 6sec
1,974 km 42.592
2014 Ilya Davidenok
51hr 39min 58sec
Mykhailo Kononenko
@ 42sec
Thomas Vaubourzeix
@ 43sec
2,219 km 42.949 km/hr
2015 Radoslav Rogina
46hr 53min 38sec
Hossein Alizadeh
@ 3sec
Francisco Jarley Colorado
@ 4sec
2,030 km 43.289 km/hr
2016 Sergiy Lagkuti
43hr 42min 58sec
Matej Mugerli
@ 37sec
Vitaliy Buts
@ 1min 0sec
1,916 km 43.828 km/hr
2017 Yonathan Monsalve
41hr 19min 30sec
Mauricio Ortega
@ 20sec
Björn Thurau
@ 24sec
1,802 km 43.606 km/hr
2018 Hernan Aguirre
42hr 16min 47sec
Hernando Bohorquez
@ 1min 5sec
Radoslav Rogina
@ 2min 35sec
1,841 km 43.543 km/hr
2019 Robinson Chalapud
37hr 18min 40sec
Oscar Sevilla
@ 1min 44sec
Benjamin Dyball
@ 2min 37sec
1,631 km 43.714
2020 Race cancelled
2021 Zhishan Zhang
24hr 14min 59sec
Xin Peng
@ 1min 2sec
Tiantian Hu
@ 5min 16sec
993.1 km 40.953
2022 Jiankun Liu
26hr 14min 17sec
Shishan Zhang
@ 2min 53sec
Tutao Shen
@ 3min 30sec
1,079 km 41.124 km/hr

More on the Tour of Qinghai 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