Argos-Shimano to contest this year’s Tour of Beijing

Date: 27th August 2012

Photo Credit: Graham Watson

Argos-Shimano will start the 2012 Tour of Beijing after receiving a wild card invitation from Tour organisers.

Chinese national Ji Cheng will be one for the locals to keep an eye on, the 25-year-old will no doubt be agressive as were the Chinese National team last year in a bid to make an impression on home soil.

“Argos-Shimano have a very competitive roster as shown in performances in two Grand Tours so far this year and the presence of one of China’s strongest exports in Cheng will give the locals a home crowd hero to support”, said Global Cycling Promotion Director Alain Rumpf.

Ji Cheng is a great example of the globalisation of cycling in recent years as non European rider numbers grow on WorldTour and Continental rosters. Cheng also made history this season by being the first Chinese rider to take part in the Milan – San Remo spring classic.

Argos-Shimano also received invites to this year’s Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana, the highlight of the season to-date has come at the recent Vuelta a Espana courtesy of German John Degenkolb’s winning three out of the opening nine stages to place him in a strong position to win the overall points classification.

Fellow German and sprint specialist Marcel Kittel has had a consistent season collecting line honours at the Eneco Tour and Tour de Pologne and will be vying for a spot on the Beijing roster. The 24-year-old had his debut Tour de France cut short due to illness on the early parts of stage five, but still has plenty of racing this season to add to his eight victories.

Recently re-signed Frenchmen Matthieu Sprick and Yann Huguet, Dutch riders Tom Dumoulin and Roy Curvers, and Belgium Bert de Backer will all be in contention for a spot on the eight man team at the Tour of Beijing.

Full team rosters and announcements will be released closer to the Tour start date.

What: 2nd edition of Tour of Beijing (UCI WordTour event)

Where: Beijing, China

When: Tuesday 9th – Saturday 13th October 2012

2012 Tour of Beijing Stages:

Stage One – Tuesday 9th October
117km – Tiananmen Square to Bird’s Nest Olympic Piazza

Stage Two – Wednesday 10th October
134km – Bird’s Nest Piazza to Men Tou Gou Yong Ding River Cultural Square

Stage Three – Thursday 11th October
162.5km – Green Sea Forest Park to Yan Qing Ba Da Ling Great Wall

Stage Four – Friday 12th October
165.5km – Yan Qing Gui Chuan Square to Chang Ping Stadium

Stage Five – Saturday 13th October
182.5km – Chang Ping Stadium to Ping Gu Centenary Square