Not unlike fighting a bad hangover, our first days in China are mostly an attempt to forget about our 16 hours trip to Chengdu… Once we finally set foot outside of the airport, we are welcomed by heavy clouds of pollution and four shuttle buses the FISE sent our way: both make us feel a little warm inside, for opposite reasons. Our first ride through the highways bordering the gigantic city is quick, and soon we arrive at the hotel… Something we were not quite prepared for.

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Words: Freddy White
Photography: Dominik Wagner

14 millions of people call Chengdu home, but few get to live in a place of such epic proportions. The rooms are so big we can’t help but think it’s a mistake, and the two swimming pools, spa, gym, tennis and volley ball courts, ping pong and snooker tables are something you don’t get to see to often when attending blade competitions. A quick swimm marks the first victory in our fight against jet lag, and the rest of Day #1 goes by fast and smooth.

Unfortunately, we also find beers and exotic drinks while walking around the neighbourhood, and when we wake up on the second day, a solid combination of headache and sleep deprivation makes us feel like we have only taken a step backwards in the end. Once again, we dive head first into the indoor swimming pool and sweat some of the alcohol away, while part of the group travels to the contest venue to check out the park setup and various FISE installations.

Fortunately, if there is one person a hangover is NOT going to stop, that’s Be-Mag photographer and pro rider Dominik Wagner, who onces again will be delivering a healthy dose of live updates on this website, while not busy battling on the course for a spot on the podium or partying on the 21st floor of the world! Take a look at what these two first days looked like, and stay tuned for Chapter #2 as well as the FISE Pro finals live broadcast tomorrow on our frontpage!

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