Posted by Editoress on 07/15/09
The Jelly Belly Team is heading to China to compete in the Tour of Qinghai Lakes, which begins July 17th. This ten day race consists of multiple mountainous stages. Because the terrain and elevation differ greatly from what the Jelly Belly Cyclists are used to on long stage races some serious preparation has been going on.
“The main thing I’ve been focusing on in the last few weeks is putting in long days and adding long climbs to simulate days we will have in China,” said Will Routley. “I’m also using a portable altitude simulator to try to start adapting to the altitude before we get there.”
“I’ve been sleeping in an altitude tent for the last month,” Phil Gaimon explained. “It removes oxygen from the air to simulate 13,000 feet above sea level.”
But not all the riders train the same way. While they will all do as many long days in the saddle as possible some of them will actually travel to pre-acclimate themselves.
“I have been climbing a lot during training,” said Kiel Reijnen. “I also went and stayed in a cabin up in the mountains for a week in preparation. I also participated in a race that was at high elevation. All of this is to help the body adapt to recovering in the high altitude.”
Not only are the riders preparing for the terrain, they are also thinking ahead to the teams that will be joining them on the road.
“The Iranian team is supposed to be very strong,” said Reijnen.
“This race has many very strong riders and teams,” Routley explained. “It is interesting to see several big stars of the Tour de France from the past few years who are now on smaller teams and will be racing in China, guys like Danilo Hondo and Leon Von Bon, for example.”
While there will be big names in this big race, the cyclists know what’s most important.
“While we watch certain riders, we really make sure to race aggressively,” said Nick Reistad. “It's better to be in charge than to be behind the eight-ball.”
Jelly Belly Pro Cycling will be represented by Will Routley, Phil Gaimon, Kiel Reijnen, Nick Reistad, Matty Rice and Jeremy Powers in China. Other than Sport Beans, the fans in the region are sure to give the boys a boost up those hills.
“The fans are amazing there,” Reijnen said. “There are so many of them and they are so excited to be watching. They are also very curious as many of them haven't seen bike racing before.”
“The fans are great,” added Reistad. “They are always very enthusiastic and encouraging.”
This will be the first race in China for Gaimon and Routley.
“I don’t know what they’re like in China, but in general fans and crowds are awesome. The more they yell and cheer, the harder you can go,” Gaimon said.
Routley couldn’t agree more.
“Every bit of extra motivation one can derive from a cheering fan only helps to fuel the fire.”
Jelly Belly Team press release
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