The UCI President Mr Pat McQuaid travelled to China this week to sign an agreement with the authorities of Hangzhou with a view to organising the first edition of the Tour of Hangzhou, a UCI WorldTour stage race which will be organised in the week following the Tour of Beijing.
At its meeting on February 10th, the UCIâs Professional Cycling Council (PCC) approved the launch of this project, which truly gets underway with the signing of the agreement.
For the city of Hangzhou, which is part of an important tourist area 200km south-west of Shanghai and which has more than 8 million inhabitants, the agreement was signed by the Deputy Mayor Chen Xiaoping, in the presence of the Secretary Huang and the Director of the Hangzhou Sports Bureau Zhao Rongfu.
The UCI President declared: âThis agreement represents the first step in a new phase of our development strategy. After the Tour of Beijing, China offers us a second fantastic opportunity to promote the image of cycling in the worldâs biggest country, and I am convinced that those in charge of this initiative are perfectly capable of meeting the other administrative deadlines necessary to obtain a place in the UCI WorldTour.â
Planned to take place over five days (Wednesday to Sunday), the race will be organised by Hangzhou cityâs administrative services in collaboration with Global Cycling Promotion (GCP), the UCIâs development unit, according to the same methods as those set up for the 2011 Tour of Beijing.
As part of this, in the days before the signature of the agreement, GCP Director Alain Rumpf and Technical Consultant Alan Rushton carried out a first reconnaissance visit of the site to check the quality of the roads and the regionâs different facilities.
âThe lay of the terrain will allow us to design a very interesting course, ideal for a high-level race wishing to become part of the UCI WorldTour,â declared Mr Rumpf.
According to the regulations, the Tour of Hangzhou must now make a request for a UCI WorldTour licence, which will be examined by the Licences Commission.
UCI Press Services