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 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]

Ji, who was 164th, also finished more than 50 minutes behind the second last finisher and crashed on the final stage on the Champs Elysees, even suffering the ignominy of being lapped by the peloton as they completed eight circuits of the famous avenue.

But every day he managed to get inside the time limit.

And it's not the first time he's completed a Grand Tour.

He finished 175th and last at the 2012 Vuelta a Espana, although sickness prevented him from completing last year's Giro d'Italia.

While the native of Harbin in the north east of China may be the Tour's "lanterne rouge" (Red Lantern - last place finisher), he at least finished, which is more than 34 other starters managed, amongst them defending champion Chris Froome, Alberto Contador and Mark Cavendish.

All three crashed out and Ji says that's one of the risks in cycling.

"In cycling sometimes dangerous things can happen like a crash, or you can get sick or have a fever," he said.

"It's normal, last year at the Giro the same thing happened to me. I got very sick before stage five and couldn't start it.

"It's really sad but it's like this. Maybe next year I'll have this situation. I was pretty lucky really, I didn't crash or get sick or anything."

Having made history as the first Chinese rider to compete in the Tour, Ji said he hopes to be a pioneer for his countrymen, but said it will take more than just him to change things.

"I hope so but a cycling project in the country cannot be one man like me," he said.

"Maybe I can show them something but I cannot change anything.

"I hope they can see it's possible to build a team or train riders to be top professionals. That's what I hope."

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