Tour of Poyang Lake 2017
The unpredictable chaos that is international racing began weeks before the race even commenced. In 2016, we had gotten our invite for the Tour of Poyang Lake just a week before it started, which left us with impossibly little time to get a roster, visas, and flights ready before the race and we had to give up the ghost. With limited communication to the race this year, we were very hopefully of another invite, albeit a bit earlier than in 2016. With just under 3 weeks before the race this year, the official invite came through and so began the mad scramble to confirm riders, staff, visas and flights.
One of our staff members, Pierre, our masseuse, had an expired passport and frantically worked to get a new one. He eventually got his hands on it, ran a couple errands that day, had his car broken into, and his passport stolen the same day he picked it up. He worked some magic and was able to get another one very quickly, but then had his visa application denied by the Chinese embassy. After scrambling and getting an official invitation from the race for Pierre, he resubmitted his visa application and we crossed our fingers. The visa pickup date for him was September 8th. His flight was leaving on the 9th. Finally, luck was on our side and his visa came through the day before his flight left.
Sadly, after Justin Mauch and Pierre got on their flight, their luck expired. When they landed in Beijing and went to board their flight everything was delayed. They boarded the plane. Then de-boarded the plane. Then waited around for a few more hours. Then their flight was cancelled for that night and rescheduled for the following day. The following morning, after a refreshing sleep on the airport floor, they got to Nanchang, waited around a few hours for the bus to leave, then finally got into the hotel after 36 hours of travel.
And the race hadn’t even started yet and we are all cracked.