April 7, 2011 (London, England) – The President of the International Cycling Union (UCI), Mr Pat McQuaid, and the Vice Mayor of the Beijing Municipal Government, Mr Liu Jingmin, today signed a four-year agreement for the organisation of a new UCI WorldTour event, the Tour of Beijing.
The agreement was signed in the frame of the 2011 SportAccord Convention, taking place in London (GBR) from April 3rd to 8th and attended both by the UCI and a delegation from Beijing.
The first edition of the Tour of Beijing, which will take place from 5th to 9th October 2011, brings the UCI WorldTour, the UCI’s most prestigious cycling series, to a new continent after Europe, Oceania (Tour Down Under) and America (GP Cycliste de Québec and de Montréal).
The Tour of Beijing, a legacy of the Olympic Games organised in the Chinese capital in 2008, will further continue the development of cycling in China and on the Asian continent. As part of the UCI WorldTour, it will automatically draw the participation of the 18 UCI ProTeams, guaranteeing an extremely high quality event. It will also receive extensive television coverage, reaching 150 million homes worldwide. At the same time this new event will promote cycling as a healthy means of transport, reinforcing Beijing city’s green strategy dealing with environmental and sustainable energy issues.
During the signing ceremony, Mr McQuaid underlined the UCI’s commitment to the development of cycling in Asia: “The Tour of Beijing is a significant step in the UCI’s policy of the globalisation of cycling. Like other countries in this continent, China is fast establishing an important place for itself in the world of cycling, and we are extremely satisfied to be able to finalize this project – which represents a great achievement for the whole Asian cycling movement – in cooperation with Beijing’s authorities. I’m sure UCI’s know-how and Chinese’s enthusiasm will make this new event a very successful one.”
Mr Liu Jingmin said that the city of Beijing was proud to welcome Asia’s first UCI WorldTour event: “Hosting the 2008 Olympic Games was an amazing experience for Beijing and we did not want to stop there. The Tour of Beijing is a legacy of these Games. Our city is honoured to be part of the UCI WorldTour and proud to once again welcome the world’s elite cyclists.”
The Tour of Beijing will be the last stage race on the 2011 WorldTour calendar, finishing six days before the final event of the season, the one-day Giro di Lombardia (ITA) on October 15th.