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France - China

Belgian wins France-China solar bike race

Raf van Hulle celebrates after arriving in Guangzhou
Raf van Hulle celebrates after arriving in Guangzhou AFP

Belgian cyclist, Raf van Hulle, has won the first-ever solar bike race between France and China, cycling 12,000 kilometres from Lyon to Guangzhou.


 "I am very happy to have won but also not to have damaged my bike, which is quite expensive," was van Hulle's laconic comment after his victory was announced.

His journey, on a bike with a solar panel in front and another on a trailer behind, took him through Germany, Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan before ending in the southern Chinese city.

He covered an average 270km a day, mounted 3,000km of slopes and put up with scorching heat in the Gobi desert.

The race started in mid-June with 39 participants.

They were given 100 days to get from Lyon to Guangzhou without a fixed route and about 30 competitors stayed the course.

French organisers Sun Trip started solar bike races in 2013 to promote renewable energy, previous ones running between Lyon and Kazakhstan or Turkey.

China was picked for this year's destination because it is the world's largest greenhouse-gas emitter but also a leading investor in solar energy.

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