By EdC & JustinJ, The weekend of the inaugural Clean & Dirty races exceeded our expectations in every way! The weather was fantastic (if you don’t mind a little sunburn), there were no serious incidents; even the holiday traffic was not too bad!
We got off to an easy start at 7am. For the Clean riders this entailed a steady long climb up the first hill, followed by a long rolling downhill winding down the valley to Qiandao Lake. A brief respite on a flat section around Weiping lead to the second long climb and descent, which deposited riders at the bottom of the infamously grueling “Forbidden by the coach” climb out of Shitan village. A technical descent took riders to the start of the “rubbish ride”, with only two more smaller and easier to negotiate hills before galloping home. Finishers started to roll in mid-afternoon. The event was won by Scott & Nicole, with some additional special prizes awarded for some not-so-serious categories.
Dirty riders also began with a big effort, gaining 700m elevation to climb into an isolated valley with beautiful concrete road descents, a brief section of hike-and-bike, and ending in flowing riverside singletrack. After converging briefly with the Clean ride, the Dirty ride took a scenic detour along a flagstone path, before rejoining the Clean ride to attack “Forbidden by the coach”. The fun was only just beginning for the Dirty riders, however, as they faced a further 3 challenging climbs: the “Red rocks” dirt road grinder, the “Pig” climb that finishes off steep concrete switchbacks and steeper gravel with some pig-dodging, and finally the exhausting effort of the “B*****d lite” climb (yes, there’s a harder one) that took riders high above Sanyang village. The descents from these climbs offered little respite, with sections like the descent from Poshan really testing riders’ offroad handling skills. Everyone pushed to their limits; the suffering was truly sincere, as was the sense of accomplishment in finishing each section and the race. Josh B. came first, Jerry 2nd; and Sara and Olivia were awarded joint “DNF” winners 🙂
Riders were met by blue skies, sun sets, mountains, rocks, streams, ancient hill villages, rivers, forests, wetlands, birdsong, inquisitive and helpful locals, and tasty coffee, sandwiches and homemade energy bars and cakes.
All in all it was a great day out! We hope next year is even better than this year. Dirty, now described as “The Most Challenging 1 Day Cycle Race In China” tries to combine adventure, wild scenery, and varied experiences all within easy accessibility from the major cities of the area.
Various road and adventure rides were enjoyed before and after the main events; along with lots of beer, coffee, and food.
🙂 Next up – a 24hr race, combining north and south sections with culinary and cultural stops 🙂
Final course routes and distances are subject to change. GPX & course notes will be provided the day before the races after a final inspection. Heavy rain on the day will alter course and race formats.
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