Ji Cheng, the first Chinese cyclist to ride the Tour de France, says he will just be hoping to survive as the Grand Boucle heads into the high mountains.
Ji was a visible presence throughout the first week of the Tour, often riding at the front of the peloton on stages earmarked for ace sprinter Marcel Kittel, his Giant-Shimano team leader.
The Chinese star, 26, lived up to his nickname of “the breakaway killer” as he put in long shifts on the front of the peloton to ensure escapees couldn’t make it all the way to the finish.
I’m just enjoying it. Every day a lot of people send me messages on Chinese Weibo, a couple of hundred [every day]
But now the Tour has hit the hilly Vosges, and with the Alps not far down the road, Ji says his aim will simply be to cling onto the back of the peloton.
At least he is still hanging in, unlike former two-time winner Alberto Contador who broke down in tears as he quit the Tour on Monday after crashing badly on a steep downhill part of the tough 10th stage and badly injuring his knee.