Tour of Qinghai lake kicked of today in the highland city of xining. As expected the race finished in a bunch sprint giving the peleton a good little, not hard, not to easy day, ahead of 2 weeks racing. We went into the stage with the objective of giving our sprinter aaron kemps the best shot at victory and in the end he was 6th across the line. Prior to expected sprint finish there was the usual barrage of attacks which ultimately saw around 8 riders break clear including or local hero Liu biao. Having him up the Rd meant we could all take it easy in the bunch and wait for the finish so was great to have him up there.
Being at 2400m elevation the lungs don't function as well as they do at sea level so the opportunity to spend as little energy as possible when possible will be a crucial ingredient in achieving success over such a long race. Heading into the final 5km we all moved to the front to help keep Aaron is as good a position as possible which is a great sign for the race ahead as we seemed to be working really well as a group.
So a good first day with the local cycling super star of xining lui biao up in the breakaway and getting plenty of attention and Aaron showing that he will be one of the faster men in the sprint finishes as the race progresses so plenty of optimism for the 12 days of racing ahead for team champion system.
Power meter data
Race time 2hrs 4min
Av speed 47kmph
Average heart rate 134
Max heart rate 186 (felt like 286!!!)
Average power 225 watts
Max power 932 watts
Calories burnt 945