We’re in southern China settling in ahead of the Wulong Mountain Quest. This is one of the most popular events on the international calendar, a four day stage race in the mountainous Wulong region. The race kicks off with a prologue, an hour or so racing on the streets of Wulong, then three full days of mountainbiking, running, kayaking and rafting, plus a bit of caving and abseiling in the karst landscape the area is famous for.
After Wulong we head further south to Zun Yi for two day race, but this one is a bit of a mystery and we know very little about it. The compulsory gear list does include rollerblades so that should add a little humour to the racing.
The Wulong Mountain Quest has always been well supported by New Zealanders and there are a few of us floating around. Orion is sporting an all kiwi line up, while Martin Flinta of Sweden has recruited Richard and Elina Ussher and Nathan Faavae for Team Thule. Jacob Roberts and Marcel Hagener have joined a French team but are racing under the banner of a Chinese sponsor, Toread, and Louise Mark is here with a team from Hong Kong.
The trip to Wulong was pretty painless, we found our way here with the help of (or in spite of) some very useful signs.
Others included permanent signs on the motorway warning us of foul weather, and some simply stating ‘rear end collision,’ while the odd road sign congratulated drivers for their hard work .
We’ve got a couple of days before racing begins, but the mind games have begun already. Nathan has gained a significant psychological advantage for the team by establishing himself as the leading ping pong player in the hotel.
We’ll post more updates once racing gets underway. Watch this space!
Editor's Note: Nathan Peterson has joined the team for these races. He is a Mainlander like Fleur, was 3rd in XPD Cairns with Team Merrell and has competed at Wulong before