Sports / Cycling

Chinese history-maker Ji looking forward to break from cycling

(Agencies) Updated: 2014-07-28 20:40

Chinese history-maker Ji looking forward to break from cycling

Team Giant-Shimano rider Ji Cheng, left, of China takes a photo with Chinese fan after the Tour de France cycling race in Paris, July 4, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]

Chinese history-maker Ji looking forward to break from cycling

Team Giant-Shimano rider Ji Cheng of China checks his bicycle after a training session for the Tour de France cycling race near Leeds, July 4, 2014. Ji will be the first Chinese rider to take part in the Tour de France since 1903. [Photo/Agencies]

Paris - Chinese rider Ji Cheng said he wants to get away from cycling for a while after completing the Tour de France.

Ji was a visible member of the peloton over the last three weeks, relishing his role as the "breakaway killer" for his Giant-Shimano team.

And although the 27-year-old did not set the world alight with his performances, he did gain cult status over 3,659 km of racing around France.

But he's had enough for this year.

Asked what he would do now, he said: "I have no idea. I will try to relax because I got married but 20 days later I came back to Europe for a training camp and then racing and it's been eight months now since I've been home.

"That's really long, I will try to relax and not think any more about cycling."

It's not been easy for Ji, who was expected to ride at the front of the peloton day after day to control breakaway groups and ensure his Giant team would be able to reel them in later so sprinter Marcel Kittel could finish off his work.

Kittel won four stages in total while another German sprinter, John Degenkolb, finished second in two others where the lumpy run-ins weren't suited to Kittel's raw straight-line power.

But Ji's also had his own challenges to overcome, having suffered from a knee problem.

"The hardest moments were just the first week and the last week," he said.

"The first week had more sprint stages and we had more chances for victories so I was working hard to control the group and working hard on the front. That was a hard week," he said.

"And the last week because I was injured in the left knee. Already I wasn't looking forward to the mountains because of my injury which was so painful.

"But the second week was nice for me, I had more time to enjoy the race."

Enjoyment would be a curious word for a race that lasted more than 90 hours.

And in Ji's case, he rode for more than six hours longer than winner Vincenzo Nibali, in so doing managing the biggest gap between first and last since 1954.

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