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Friday, June 1, 2012

http://www.thestar.com/news/crime/article/1194920--stray-dog-joins-china-mountain-bike-race-travels-2-000-kilometres

The pup ran alongside his companions on the gruelling route for more than 20 days, covering up to 60 kilometres a day and climbing 12 mountains in the process.

The pup ran alongside his companions on the gruelling route for more than 20 days, covering up to 60 kilometres a day and climbing 12 mountains in the process.

Dylan C. Robertson Staff Reporter

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A lonely stray dog from the heart of China has won thousands of fans – and a new life – after following a cross-country bike race for 24 days.

The China Daily reports that Zhang Heng, 22, took up a grueling, mountainous bike race as a graduation trip to see if he could make it alone.

On a stop in Sichuan province, he encountered a ratty white dog that looked hungry.

“She was lying, tired, on the street,” Heng told reporters. “So we fed her, and then she followed our team.”

The dog stayed by his team’s side night and day, travelling 2,000 kilometres to the race’s finish Saturday at the Tibetan capital Lhasa.

She was affectionately named Xiao Sa, a combination of “little” and the second syllable of Lhasa.

Heng said Xiao Sa ran the whole course, except when he’d carry her downhill to avoid high-speed danger.

Xiao Sa also became a star among Chinese bloggers. Heng created a Weibo blog, similar to Twitter, tracking their progress.

The account netted 40,000 followers. Many of them reposted a photo Heng posted when they reached their final destination, announcing he’d be adopting the dog.

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