Belgian bicyclist Raf Van Hulle was the first rider to pull up to the People's Park in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou 45 days after he joined a 12,000-kilometer solar-powered bicycle rally in Lyons of France in June.
The 43-year old cyclist Raf Van Hulle is the first to reach Guangzhou in the Sun Trip 2018 cycling challenge. [Photo/Xinhua]
The Sun Trip 2018 cycling challenge, founded in 2013, is one of the largest overland adventures in the world and advocates green travel. This year's participants, solo or duo, are required to ride from Lyons to Guangzhou with solar energy as the sole source of electricity for recharging and conservation of bicycles.
The bike rally is also considered a celebration of the establishment of a sister city relationship between Guangzhou and Lyons.
Van Hulle finished his route in only 45 days, crossing France, Switzerland, Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan and China.
The Belgian cyclist celebrates his victory at the People's Park in Guangzhou on Aug 3. [Photo/Xinhua]
The 43-year-old rider is a professional outdoor off-road athlete. He has participated in the previous two Sun Trips. He made the bicycle he used this time himself, designing it to be capable of 30 kilometers per hour.
"The most difficult part was the side winds in the Gobi Dessert. Sometimes the wind was so hard that I fell off the road twice. And it was very difficult to hold the bike straight," said Van Hulle according to a report in Xinhua.
"Another challenge was the heat in Kazakhstan." He added, "With hot wind it felt like 50 degrees and you constantly had to drink and put water on your T shirt to get fresh."
Raf Van Hulle rides his bike in People's Park, Guangzhou on Aug 3. [Photo/Xinhua]
The Sun Trip 2018 attracted 41 contestants from many countries and regions around the world. Currently, 13 riders have arrived in China. The rest are expected to arrive in Guangzhou sometime in August.