CHAKA, China, July 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- This was published by Xinhuanet. Below is the full article.
The 18th Tour of Qinghai Lake (TDQL) cycling race kicked off on July 13 in Haidong city, northwest China's Qinghai province, as a total of 154 cyclists in 22 teams from China and abroad were geared up to race against time, heat and altitude for championship.
In two weeks, the race will be running across Qinghai, Gansu and Ningxia over 13 stages, with a total distance of 3,001 km including race distance of 1,631 km, and climbing up to 3,817 meters high. The contestants from 6 International Cycling Union (UCI) professional continental teams and 16 continental teams are vying for a jackpot of US$50 million.
As one of the highlights this year, the cyclists, for the first time, are offered a chance to race into the "Caka Salt Lake", known as the "Mirror of the Sky", on July 18 against a backdrop of breathtaking views of snow-covered mountains and blue sky reflected on a tranquil and crystal-clear lake.
"Looking at the course that has been set for the 2019 event, it seems that once again the organizers have managed to put together something very special. With the elevations here in Qinghai, the event is certainly very unique and one which for sure, rewards a true tour champion," UCI Representative Majid Hashim Kiran said at the opening ceremony.
An annual professional road bicycle race since 2002, the TDQL Lake has been sanctioned as a 2.HC race as part of the UCI Asia Tour.
"This tour has established itself as one of most challenging races anywhere in the world and with a number of different winners over the years from so many different nations," Kiran added. "The UCI are very pleased that this event continues to feature so prominently on the Asia Tour calendar, as it continues to play such a key role showcasing our wonderful sport in China."
Through the past 18 years, the TDQL has established its status as China's top cycling race and "gradually developed into an international brand with world vision, international standards and Chinese characteristics", as Deputy Director of the State General Administration of Sport Li Jianming said at the opening ceremony, "this tour has also witnessed the development and achievement in China's western region."