65“I am having fun in other parts of the world.” Leon van Bon, Dutch Pro, on his Asian team contract
The Silk Road extended from southern Europe, through Arabia, Egypt, Persia, and India until it reached China. It connected East with West allowing trade, communication, and cultural interaction and was a significant factor in the development of several great civilizations in which the modern world has its foundations. It was a superhighway of mutual benefit revealed by the tales of Marco Polo. Known more as an explorer, in reality Polo was a trader seeking rich merchandise. Egyptian jade was carved into beautiful jewelry in the Orient and Chinese silks adorned ancient western kingdoms; Indian spices seasoned the known world. The result was Europe’s exposure to Asian culture. While sea routes replaced the Silk Road, Polo’s tale inspired other explorers like Columbus who was in search of another route to China when he discovered the New World.
Now66 Marco Polo rides again to discover new worlds as a cycling team. The team has become a route for Asian cyclists to reach the highest levels of competitive cycling in partnership with the experience of its multinational roster and exposure of its international schedule. Like any development team, they face disparity in resources when racing against the pro teams at international tours.
China hosting the Olympic Games accelerated the pace on this new path for Asian cycling. Its spring stage races are already host to worldwide professional teams in search of early season spice: Jelajah Malaysia, Tour of Thailand, Tour de Langkawi are a few flavors.
While the names of routes may change, fine silk is still considered a priceless treasure. Look for Asian cycling to do as Asia has always done – play a critical part in adorning cycling’s future upon silken superhighways.
Prayer for Asian Cycling
“I’ll make all my mountains into roads, turn them into a superhighway.
Look: These coming from far countries…” 67Isaiah 49:11-12
We are grateful for new paths that open up before us. We ask for fresh spices to flavor cycling’s stir-fry and ask blessing on Asian cycling.
Ponder Have I some goods to offer? Are there some concepts or things I need in order to spice up my cycling? Affirm I am a traveler seeking the best. Watch for new ways to trade for fuller, richer and more luxurious cycling.
65“Last year’s Nokere winner now world traveler,” Latest Cycling News, March 19, 2008 Edited by Bjorn Haake www.cyclingnews.com
66Marco Polo Cycling Team info www.dcmpteam.com
67The Message, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson