NESVILLE, GEORGIA (July 23, 2014) — Chad Beyer placed eighth overall at the UCI 2.HC race Tour of Qinghai Lake in China. The 5-hour ENERGY® presented by Kenda Racing Team raced aggressively at the UCI Asia Tour event over the 13 stages from July 6-19.
Jim Stemper made his way into the first of many breaks for the team on stage 2 which started and ended in Xining. The last rider to be reeled back, Stemper was off the front for most of the 121-km stage which finished in a chaotic bunch sprint. Not deterred, Stemper tried again on the 203-km stage 5 from Qinghai Lake to Guide. Joined by teammate Beyer, the pair pushed the gap up to three minutes and 30 seconds before being reeled back in on the slopes of the second King of the Mountain climb.
Two days later, though he suffered multiple crashes in the previous days, Stemper was at it again, breaking away with other riders on the 142-m stage 7 from Xunhua to Lintao. The official race report highlighted Stemper’s “impressive fight to chase back to the group” after being dropped on the categorized climb. Though he was swallowed by the field in the final 20 kilometers, Stemper finished fifth on the stage with Taylor Shelden taking seventh.
On the next day, Gavin Mannion claimed the second fifth-place finish for the 5-hour ENERGY squad on the 226-km stage 8 from Xunhua to Lintao. After a welcomed rest day, Shelden escaped off the front twice, first on the 118-km stage 9 Tianshui – Tianshui and then on the 131-km stage 11 Yinchuan – Yinchaun.
The 5-hour ENERGY team rallied around team leader Beyer to ensure a top 10 finish in one of the most difficult races on the calendar. Not only did the racers face 2200 kilometers but were also challenged by the high altitude with forays of over 4,000 meters for one of the highest events in the world.