A tiny stray dog has completed a 20-day bike race covering 1,700kms in China after one of the cyclists gave her food and she refused to stop following.
The female puppy, nicknamed Xiaosa, ran up to 60km a day and climbed 12 mountains from Sichuan province to Tibet — managing to keep up with the riders despite being only knee-high.
One of the competitors who befriended Xiaosa, 22-year-old student Zhang Heng, said they first spotted her in lying in the street, China Daily reports.
"She was lying, tired, on the street around Yajiang, Sichuan province, so we fed her and then she followed our team," Heng said.
A week into the race, Heng started a blog about Xiaosa's epic journey called "Go Go Xiao Sa," which attracted more than 37,000 followers in two weeks.
Xiaosa kept running even when many riders stopped in difficult sections to take the bus, Heng said.
Heng said he now wants to adopt Xiaosa, and doesn't think he could have completed the grueling race without her enthusiasm.
"I would like to take the dog home and take care of her, she has been a stray on the road for a long time," he said.