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Cyclists compete in euphratica forest race

(chinadaily.com.cn)

Updated: 2016-09-23

On Sept 22, the 2016 China-Ejin International Euphratica Forest Cycling Race kicked off in Ejin Banner, Alxa League, Inner Mongolia autonomous region, during which 501 cyclists and 70 squads from both China and abroad took part.

Cyclists compete in euphratica forest race

Cyclists race on the road during the 2016 China-Ejin International Euphratica Forest Cycling Race held in Ejin Banner, Alxa League, Inner Mongolia autonomous region, on Sept 22. [Photo/Xinhua]

The two-day event, involving professional and amateur groups, attracted athletes and cycling-enthusiasts from sixteen provinces and regions across China, along with foreign countries including Canada, South Korea and Kazakhstan.

Jointly sponsored by the Ejin Banner government and the local culture and sports bureau, the event was the first cycling race touring across the Populus euphratica forest and desert in China.

For the professional group, over 300 athletes participated in the 100-kilometer race on the first day. Zhao Yujian from Meilida cycling squad finished first with a time of 2:30:57; Hu Zhichao from Yinbeisi team took second place finishing just 0.7 seconds behind; and Zhao Fengming from Blue Fox squad took third place with 2:31:01.

As for the amateur group, Wang Bin, Wang Ruiping and Yang Li, all from Baotou, Inner Mongolia, won the first three places during the 58-kilometer race on the same day.

Cyclists compete in euphratica forest race

Cyclists tour around an area of euphratica forest, during the 2016 China-Ejin International Euphratica Forest Cycling Race held in Ejin Banner, Alxa League, Inner Mongolia autonomous region, on Sept 22. [Photo/Xinhua]

On Sept 23, there will be a 115-kilometer race for professionals and a 35-kilometer race for amateurs, and final rankings will be determined by the times they take over the two days. Following this, an awards ceremony will be held at the finishing line of the races.

The event has total prize money of 750,000 yuan ($112,500) to award to contestants, 15,000 yuan for the champion and 1,500 yuan for each rider completing the race.

Also, the race organizers have set up special awards to inspire riders, such as the Best Team Award and the Best Sportsmanship Award.

Located in the northwest of Inner Mongolia, Ejin Banner possesses one of three existing Populus euphratica forests in the world.

Aside from the racing, riders can enjoy the spectacular landscape of the area, including the Badain Jaran Desert (highest elevation in the world), the swan habitat at Juyan Lake, the limitless Gobi Desert, and many other natural wonders.

Cyclists compete in euphratica forest race

Cyclists travel through an area of desert, during the 2016 China-Ejin International Euphratica Forest Cycling Race held in Ejin Banner, Alxa League, Inner Mongolia autonomous region, on Sept 22. [Photo/Xinhua]

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