Two-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador went one better than having beaten his former rival Andy Schleck on some kids' balance bikes on Saturday to win the Ride Like a Pro Yangtze River Delta Open legends ride in the Qingpu Disctrict of Shanghai, China, on Sunday.
Contador and 2010 Tour winner Schleck lined up alongside Andy's brother, Frank, as well as a large group of local racers and 14 other former pros: Robbie McEwen, Paolo Bettini, Igor Astarloa, Ivan Basso, Alessandro Ballan, Joaquim Rodriguez, Oscar Freire, Filippo Pozzato, Stuart O'Grady, Sylvain Chavanel, Gilberto Simoni, Massimiliano Lelli, Robbie McEwen and George Hincapie.
Contador took the victory from Ballan and Chinese amateur rider Chen Long on the second day of an event organised to attract and encourage local riders, but also to attract visitors to see what the area has to offer.
The Giro d'Italia organisers, RCS Sport, were behind the event, which took place on December 7 and 8, with the idea being that there was both a non-competitive Family Fun Ride on the first day and the competitive element the next day, as well as events for children on balance bikes – before Contador and Schleck commandeered a couple of them to re-enact their Tour de France rivalry.
In other words, there was something for everyone during an opportunity to celebrate Chinese and Italian cycling and culture, with everyone coming away happy, despite what was a freezing-cold weekend of riding.
"The atmosphere was beautiful in Shanghai," Basso told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "The event is organised like a small Giro d'Italia, all enclosed in a day. And then in China there is the desire to promote the use of bicycles among young people, combining sports activities with health benefits.
"There were entire families pedalling, with three- and four-year-old children already having started cycling, and ready to compete," he said.
Check out some of the photos from the event above.
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