Details of the stages and the website for the inaugural Tour of Beijing were unveiled today in Saint-Paul-Trois-ChĂ˘teaux during the second rest day of the Tour de France.
The Tour of Beijing, which will take place from October 5th to 9th, will start and finish at Olympic Park and will include international tourism landmarks such as Tian An Men Square, the Birdâ€™s Nest Stadium, Summer Palace, Great Wall and Ming Tomb Reservoir.
During the press conference, the International Cycling Union also announced a four-year partnership with Tour de France organisers Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), who will provide event services to the Tour of Beijing and co-ordinate the sporting content of the race.
Addressing the press conference, the President of the International Cycling Union, Mr Pat McQuaid, expressed his enthusiasm for the new event, which is to join the UCI WorldTour calendar once it has obtained its licence from the UCI Licences Commission:
â€śThe Tour of Beijing promises to be an excellent, high calibre event. Thanks to the cooperation of the Beijing and Chinese authorities we have been able to guarantee some spectacular, scenic and exciting stages that will put the worldâ€™s best riders to the test,â€ť said Mr McQuaid.
The 2011 Tour of Beijing is being organised by a local Organising Committee in partnership with Global Cycling Promotion (GCP), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the UCI.
According to GCP Director Mr Alain Rumpf, the Tour of Beijing is a positive step forward for cycling worldwide, even before the riders take to the start line for the opening stage.
â€śItâ€™s a well-balanced course, something for everybody, for sprinters and climbers,â€ť Mr Rumpf said. â€śIt is not easy to build a race from scratch; however we have an excellent team, both from the UCI but also from the City of Beijing.
â€śWe are very pleased with the team we have brought together, and in particular we are pleased to collaborate with ASO, who have already made a valuable contribution to the preparations for the Tour of Beijingâ€ť.
Yann Le Moenner, General Director of ASO, stated: "We are very pleased to collaborate with GCP and the Local Organising Committee for the creation of the Tour of Beijing. Already organising the Tour of Qatar and the Tour of Oman in partnership with Paumer (Eddy Merckx and Dirk De Pauw), ASO is a major actor in the globalisation of cycling, which today opens itself to new territories. The creation of a top level race in China, and particularly in Beijing, is great news for cycling, and ASO is delighted to provide its event expertise to the organisers of the Tour of Beijing.â€ť
2011 Tour of Beijing
Stage One â€“ Wednesday 5th October
Individual Time Trial â€“ 11.3km â€“ Birdâ€™s Nest â€“ Water Cube via Olympic Park circuit
Stage Two â€“ Thursday 6th October
133.5km â€“ Birdâ€™s Nest to Men Tou Gou via North Gate of Summer Palace
Stage Three â€“ Friday 7th October
162km â€“ Men Tou Gou to Yong Ning Town via Thirteen Ming Tombs Reservoir
Stage Four â€“ Saturday 8th October
189.5km â€“ Yanquin Gui Chuan Square to Shunyi Olympic Rowing and Canoeing Centre via Great Wall
Stage Five â€“ Sunday 9th October
118km â€“ Tian An Men Square to Birdâ€™s Nest Olympic Stadium
Further information on the Tour of Beijing, including course details, can be found at the new website www.tourofbeijing.net that has been launched today.
Photo: (from left) GCP Director Mr Alain Rumpf, UCI President Mr Pat McQuaid, General Director of the Tour de France Mr Christian Prudhomme and UCI Consultant Ms Laura Yan Shi.
UCI Communication Services