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Tour of Qinghai Lake, 2012, Stage 6

July 4, 2012
Stage 6 was a 123km journey at an average altitude of 3448m rising to a maximum 3869m.

The stage started with a 24km climb from the gun. It was reported that this is one of the last hard stages of the race. As a result the hitters started racing early. This put the field under pressure, the bunch split a few times but came back together just over the summit of the climb. 5 riders managed to escape once the bunch had slowed enough and was under the control of the TPT Team from Iran.

The next 70km was pretty solid, but fortunately the winds were not as strong as previous days so the bunch stayed together until the last climb of the day with 25km to go. Dylan had some fun with a puncture and got a rear brake adjustment at 100km/h to get back into the bunch.

Once we hit the climb the real fun began, the GC riders really hit it hard causing the bunch to implod in to several groups. From here it was every man for himself. Eddy found himself riding up with Will Clarke and Aaron Kemps from the Champion Systems Team. Dylan found himself with Oscar, the recent winner of the Tour of Singkarak. But both guys loosing time and just happy to roll across the line to survive another day.

On the transfer to the next town we passed over a 4200m climb, thankfully we didn't have to race up it. There was still snow covered peaks in this area. They call this area the Chinese Swiss Alps. I can see why. Even looking out the hotel window I can see a snow covered mountain.

Eddy's Garmin stats, 123km, 3hr 01mins, average speed 40.5km/h, total ascent 1119m.