A young W52 FC Porto team hold their own at Tour of Qinghai Lake

It’s a race in the mountains, high in the clouds, with lush, green pastures as a backdrop to fierce racing, even for the most seasoned professionals. Harsh cross winds, desert sprints, city circuits and especially high altitude climbs characterise the Tour of Qinghai Lake in China — a UCI 2.HC race (Hors Categorie). It was to be a veritable test for the Portuguese team W52 FC Porto, riding their SwiftCarbon Ultravox machines.

The team fielded 7 young riders from the squad, aiming to get them some valuable experience at UCI Pro Continental level, and at altitude. Here, the average altitude over the two-week, 3000km  route was at 2000m, with some stages reaching 3500m.

Needless to say, the Colombian riders were best suited to the thin air, with Robinson Chalapud from Team Medellin taking the overall GC prize. However, even with significantly lower terrain that W52 FC Porto are accustomed to racing in, the riders held their own against some serious climbing firepower. The team placed 5th in the overall standings, with a standout performance from Joaquim Silva, finishing 7th on final GC, 4:22 behind Chalapud. 

Congratulations to all! 

Final GC 

1st Robinson Chalapud (Medellin) 37h18m40s

2nd Oscar Sevilla (Medellin) +1m44s

3rd Benjamin Dyball (Team Sakura Cycling) +2m37s

...

7th Joaquim Silva +4m22s (W52 FC Porto)

31st Rafael Reis +14m41s (W52 FC Porto)

39th Angel Sánchez +18m06s (W52 FC Porto)

56th Caesar Source +33m23s (W52 FC Porto)

92th Francisco Campos +1h05m31s (W52 FC Porto)

124th Jorge Magalhães +1h38m02s (W52 FC Porto)

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