Beijing to Host Cycling World Tour Event
China is set to host an event on the world cycling tour for the first time. The International Cycling Union says the four-day Tour of Beijing will be held in October, pending the award of a license.
China is set to host an event on the road cycling WorldTour for the first time.
The Tour of Beijing will be held Oct. 5-9, pending the award of a license, the International Cycling Union said in a statement Thursday.
UCI president Pat McQuaid said the event would advance the governing body's mission to make cycling more global.
"We are all aware that Asia has a huge pool of talent and immense passion for our sport and I am convinced that the whole cycling movement will profit from the very considerable beneficial effects of an event of this size," McQuaid said.
Other stops on UCI's WorldTour already include Oceania's Tour Down Under and the Quebec and Montreal Grand Prix.
Li Yingchuan, director of the Beijing Sports Bureau, said a tour event in China was made possible by the exposure the sport received from the 2008 Olympics.
"The concept of organizing an event such as the Tour of Beijing would probably never have seen the light of day if this country and city had not had the immense privilege of hosting the Olympic Games," Li said.
The agreement between the UCI and the Chinese authorities is initially valid for four years, running through to 2014.
"Cycling in China, in particular, is currently experiencing very impressive development," McQuaid said.
Li said the race could also have important environmental benefits.
"The Tour of Beijing will be a catalyst to getting our citizens out of their cars and back on to their bicycles, the traditional mode of transport in China," McQuaid added.