Vätternrundan will soon also be cycled on the Chinese-North Korean border. Poto: Micke Fransson/Scanpix

Swedish bike race exported to China

The best known bike race in Sweden - Vätternrundan around the lake Vättern - is being exported.

According to the local newspaper Motala & Vadstena Tidning, the Chinese province of Yanbian, in the north east of the country, has signed an agreement with the managers of Vätternrundan that a bike race will be held there, using the Swedish name.

"Vätternrundan is the biggest bike event in Europe and it is well-known all around the world. You have the knowledge to arrange it," Han Xing Hai, the governor of Yanbian told the paper when he visited Motala earlier this week.

To be allowed to use the name, the Chinese organisers will have to fulfil three criteria: the race needs to go along water, it has to be at least 10 kilometres long and the security arrangments need to be good.

A date has been set for the 25th of August, when 1000 Chinese and some 200 foreigners are expected to race 170 or 114 kilometres, including along the river which borders North Korea.

According to the news agency TT, China is the worlds biggest biking country, but has up until now been without a major bike race.

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