Friday, October 11, 2013

Nihao!

Hello from China. I'm at Tour of Beijing for my last race of the 2013 season. After disappointment in the last few races, I'm really hoping I can finish the season on a good note. Today was the first stage and the second longest of the race at 190km. It was a field sprint won by Thor Hushovd and our team just did what we could to avoid trouble. Tomorrow should be another sprint, but then stages 3 and 4 will be interesting. Stage 3 could be an opportunity for a late break, although it should be stage 4 with it's 12km at ~6% summit finish that will decide the GC. I would like to avert any problems through tomorrow's stage and then hopefully find a good rhythm during stage 3 and into stage 4. We have a good team here with a few different cards to play, so hopefully we can animate the race a little. We'll have to see how it plays out.

As for my experience in China thus far, I can't complain too much. Other than having a couple issues with the exchange rate leading me to accidently withdraw a fairly large sum of money from the ATM and paying $9 for a coffee (separate incidents), the trip has been fairly smooth. The flight over was pretty easy. The race organization flies the riders business class, so that made a big difference as far as the comfort and jet lag goes. All the luggage arrived, too, so that always helps things! The first hotel has been all good. It has an interesting "cinematic" theme, but the rooms are good and the beds comfortable, so that is what is most important. The food has been fine, too. I'm not eating any meat, eggs, or dairy products (yogurt/milk) for fear of drug contamination because the restrictions on that aren't as strict here, so that is difficult, but I'm surviving ok thus far on the bread, pasta, fruit, and veggie diet. Thankfully I have a big bag of homemade trail mix to help supplement me!

We had two days of training here prior to racing. Both days were easy, but it was good to get out and try to wake the body up. The first day it was real hazy. I think it was the air pollution, but I'm not 100% sure. It is commonly said the air quality here is bad, so that is a real bummer not only for health reasons, but also because it is quite beautiful here when it is clear. The second day the wind was blowing real hard and I think it helped push the smog out a bit. With the sun shining and clear blue skies, it was amazing to see how many mountains there are around here. For training the second day, we rode out past the Great Wall. It was really neat to see it. We will race past it a couple times, but I liked the fact that I could take a bit more of a relaxed view of it. The only other event since our arrival has been the team presentation, which was very "Chinese" with many lights and razzle dazzle. All in all though, it was fairly painless. Best part for me was the announcer calling me Matty Bush, which he also called me on the stage at the sign in this morning, so I guess that is what I will forever be called here in China!

I'll continue to update as best I can. Unfortunately the restrictions on the internet here do not allow me to officially access my blog, so posting pictures is not possible. I will try to do a picture update when I get back to Europe. Thanks for coming back. I'll try to keep the updates coming!

5 comments:

Cindy said...

Great post, Matty Bush! Continued wishes for good results.

Wellfitaj Andre Jackson said...

Great story! Good luck next season and keep improving!

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kyle j said...

Another year done! Congrats! This article was good to see this morning!

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/trek-confirms-busche-zubeldia-kiserlovski-and-didier-to-2014-line-up

Take it easy, buddy!!

daveR said...

great story and it sure likely that Matthew boo shay will be home, happy, and stache free - very soon. be safe and congrats