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Conor Dunne Tour de Korea blog: Korean BBQ cures all

Conor Dunne
15 Jun 2016

In his final dispatch from the Tour de Korea, Conor comes 4th after a long breakaway and develops his own hashtag.

Now back in the UK after the Tour de Korea, Conor recounts the final few stages and wraps up the race.

Tour de Korea blog part 1

Tour de Korea blog part 2

Tour de Korea blog part 3

So the Tour de Korea is finished and I’ve made it home, although the combined effects of jetlag and the fatigue of an eight-day stage race have certainly taken their toll.

The last few stages of the race seemed to fly by in a haze of dual carriageways, fast riding, and finally some sedentary living as we moved to our final hotel for the week - the athletes village of the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Despite its age though, the village had been really well maintained and you genuinely wouldn’t have thought that nearly 30 years had passed since its maiden use, but it was nonetheless slightly eerie being among the tower blocks that comprised the accommodation standing imposingly in every direction. Seoul itself came as a welcome change to the rest of Korea, mainly due to the fact that for once it didn’t feel like we were stuck out in the middle of nowhere.

The last few stages actually went relatively well. I managed to get 4th on stage 7 after infiltrating the early breakaway that stayed away for the win. Seeing as the previous day I’d been lying down a ravine after crashing, it wasn’t too bad a result. However, I couldn’t help but feel gutted to lose out on the win, which may or may not have resulted in me yelling a few choice words at myself in a moment of rage in our hotel corridor when the frustration reached boiling point. Should of, would of, could of, the summary of most cyclists' race losses, rang true. 

The final stage was a 65km criterium around Seoul city centre, and by that point it did feel pretty marvellous to get to the finish of what had turned out to be a tough race. We still smashed it round the city streets though, and the pace was high, with a bunch sprint deciding the stage and Russ (Downing) managing to take 6th place.

Seoul definitely provided the most fans of the race route. At the start there were a considerable amount of curious Koreans and it was great to see so many people involving themselves in the sport. After the stage our team took some local Condor fans out for a short café spin as well. Everyone was so enthusiastic and it was brilliant that cycling could act as a way of bringing the two groups together.

Good memories from Korea... Homeward bound now though!

A photo posted by Conor Dunne (@conordunne1) on

The day finished with some proper non-race related food, which came in the form of a Korean BBQ (basically meat, vegetables and loads of spicy stuff cooked on a wok built into your restaurant dining table). Naturally I think I ate about as much as a small family.

In general, apart from a couple of dodgy hotels, I loved Korea. It was a friendly country and there were some amazing landscapes to race through. I can’t wait to race in Asia again, its always an adventure.

Words: @conordunnealot

Images: @angussung

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