The sixth edition of the Granfondo Yunnan has resumed its start in Mangshi. The dawn city hosted the start of the prologue and the first stage of the China Cyclosportive. This article opens the Granfondo Yunnan series. I’m taking you to the prologue of the Silver Pagoda

Pagode d'or et la pagode d'argent à Mangshi sur le granfondo Yunnan

To have the best panoramic view of Mangshi city, there is the Golden Pagoda and the new Silver Pagoda. The construction of the white pagoda was completed in 2019 and the participants from Granfondo Yunnan had the privilege of inaugurating this new final on the paving stones. 

Ding dong MangShi!

I arrived 4 days before the departure from Granfondo. With 7 hours of jet lag, different weather and culture, it is necessary to get into the Chinese way of life. As soon as I arrived, I got on the bike to stretch my legs.

Davide Cassani est guidé par Nicolas Raybaud ambassadeur Specialized et du granfondo Yunnan

Hot Pot Revolver

In the evening, I found a Hot Pot with whom I made friends with the boss. We connect via our WeChat profiles to break down the language barrier. 

The “Hot Pot” is Chinese fondue. It is a more or less spicy broth in which you cook the ingredients that scrolls on the rail. To name the ingredients, they range from meat or fish balls, vegetables, Chinese pasta, seaweed, tofu, blood sausage and shellfish. 

This dish has the advantage of being low in calories and allows you to discover a thousand flavours from here. Moreover, in a non-Western refectory, I quickly blended into this fascinating culture. 

The day of the Prologue

After this culinary paranoia, let’s get back to the race. It is November 2nd. I hang out in the hotel dining room for a hearty Asian breakfast. My departure is at 4:00.

I prescribed myself 30 minutes of warm-up with my teammates, punctuated by several sprints.

The goal for the time trial is to be as strong as last year, in less than 16 minutes. 

nicolas raybaud sur le granfondo yunann

The itinerary takes place around Mangshi’s water reservoir in 4 segments. The first 2 km is fast. The second segment is winding, in undergrowth with several small slopes.  The third is the beginning of the climb. I have to get to the foot in less than 10 minutes. There is then a climb of less than 2 km that ends on the new paving stone of the Silver Pagoda. There are 3 tight pins to negotiate before throwing your last forces under the line. 

Deliverance! Objective met in 15’56” which earned me the 24th place in the general position of the prologue. I come down from the Pagoda to take a look at it.

The Ceremony

When an administration understands the interest of investing in sporting events, the show is guaranteed.

MangShi invited all participants and partners from Granfondo for a traditional open-air show and dinner. In front of thousands of people, Benoit Rivals of the Tahitian Round, Davide Cassani for In Emili Romagna present their events with a giant screen background adding images to the speeches.

This first day has already won over many of the new participants. The following will reveal more beautiful surprises!