Daily Diary: Jason Christie talks Tour of Qinghai Lake – Stage 5

By Aaron S Lee

Reigning New Zealand road race champion Jason Christie thought he was in for a reprieve following back-to-back hors catégorie climbs, but rain and crosswinds on stage 5 offered little relief.

GANGCHA, China—Kazakhstan's Yevgeniy Gidich (Vino 4ever SKO) is on the verge of a breakthrough season after capturing his second stage win in three days in just the first five days of racing at the 15th 'Qinghai Rural Credit Cup' Tour of Qinghai Lake (UCI 2.HC).

Riding for the Kazakhstan-registered UCI Continental team, which along with Astana City, serves as a development squad for the Astana Pro Team, Gidich backed up Tuesday's stage 3 win in Guide with a bunch sprint win over Italians Daniele Colli (Nippo-Vini Fantini) and Alberto Cecchin (Team Roth).

With the bonus time from the win, Gidich moves up one spot to second on general GC just 9 seconds behind Buts, who still holds both the yellow leaders jersey, as well as the green points jersey.

For reigning New Zealand road race champion Jason Christie (Kenyan Riders Downunder), it was yet another difficult day in the saddle. The 25-year-old Christchurch native shared his thoughts on stage 5 exclusively with NZ Bike.

Christie's diary entry: Stage 5 – Qinghai Lake to Gangcha, 185km
What a miserable day. I thought it might have been better in terms of racing than it was. The team is doing okay, a few guys have actually prepared by training at altitude so they're a bit better adapted than myself.

Plus, with the rain, the trick was staying safe with 140 riders on the start, which can always be sketchy in the wet, as well as just trying to keep the body warm.

Today's race was a day where I know I shouldn't admit it, but I just had one of those days where I didn't feel like it. I guess that comes with only having five hours sleep the night prior and struggling with the limited air supply at more than 3,500m above sea level.

Oddly enough, after back-to-back hors catégorie stages, my legs are going OK. It's more my head. It just goes funny anytime I'm over 3,000m; even just walking around the hotel is difficult.
Right now, what I am most looking forward to after this stage is just getting some Wi-Fi, talking to a couple of people and having a shower. Also looking forward to dinner. Most nights it's been pretty good. Two nights ago the Chicken Teriyaki was amazing, but last night the meal was pretty bland. Let's hope for something exciting tonight.
So until next time, stay tuned...
-Jason Christie

Stage 5 Classification
1. Yevgeniy Gidich, KAZ, Vino 4ever SKO, 4:02:24
2. Daniele Colli, ITA, Nippo-Vini Fantini, s.t.
3. Alberto Cecchin, ITA, Team Roth, s.t.

General Classification
1. Vitaliy Buts, UKR, Kolss-BDC, 17:12:16
2. Yevgeniy Gidich, KAZ, Vino 4ever SKO, 0:09"
3. Mykhaylo Kononenko, UKR, Kolss-BDC, 0:16"

Classification Leaders
Race Leader (Yellow Jersey): Vitaliy Buts, UKR, Kolss-BDC
Points Leader (Green Jersey): Vitaliy Buts, UKR, Kolss-BDC
Mountains leader (Polka Dot Jersey): Mauricio Ortega, COL, RTS-Santic
Best Asian Rider (Blue Jersey): Yevgeniy Gidich, KAZ, Vino 4ever SKO
Most Aggressive: Daniele Colli, ITA, Nippo-Vini Fantini
Teams classification: Kolss-BDC, 51:38:24

Aaron S. Lee is a cycling and triathlon columnist for Eurosport and a guest contributor to NZ Bike Magazine. Image credit Adrian Hoe / Tour of Qinghai Lake. 
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