Press Conference Highlights – 2013 Tour of Beijing

Date: 10th October 2013

Photo Credit: Graham Watson

The official start list for 2013 Tour of Beijing has now been released and 153 riders from 31 nations from will take to the start line for the third edition of the final UCI WorldTour event of the season.

To view the start list, click here.
To view a race preview, click here.

On the eve of this year’s race, the main contenders and organisers participated in a press conference in Beijing. Quotes from the attendees can be found below:

Brian Cookson:

The Tour of Beijing is a very, very important event to the UCI. It’s the final of the WorldTour series and I hope that it can continue to prosper for many years to come. There’s one more edition and we’ll be talking with the organizing committee about renewing the contract over the next 12 months and I hope very much that we can come to an agreement that the Tour of Beijing will continue for many years.

I think you’re doing a very good job of marketing the race already. It’s a very important race on the calendar as the final of the WorldTour. I think that cycling can only grow and get bigger in China and in Asia, generally.

In my previous position I was president of British Cycling. Britain was a small nation in the cycling world but we decided to think big and to aim for the top by the Olympic Games and said we would try and win the Tour de France within 20 years. So, here’s my challenge to China: find a Tour de France winner within 20 years.

Rui Costa:

It’s an honour to be here and very special to ride the Tour of Beijing with this rainbow jersey.

In the last two kilometres [of the world championship] I suffered a lot. It was a dream come true [to win].

Tony Martin:

It would be nice if it stays like this because it would mean I would win for the third time, but I know it’s going to be pretty hard. Again, there’s no time trial for me so the chances of me winning it again is not so big. After last year for sure, a lot of riders will be watching me. I’ll do my best. I’m in good condition and I’m really motivated. I have a small chance and maybe I can take it.

Thor Hushovd:

The last couple of months I’ve been feeling good and won some nice races. The season is getting long so hopefully I’ll have something left in my legs but my goal here is to win a stage.

Ji Cheng:

It’s really exciting for me. A lot of media are looking for me. I’m really happy I’m here.

Cycling as a sport in China started really late, in Europe it was 50 or 60 years earlier than China. It makes it hard for us to make it to the very highest level. Right now there are only a few Chinese riders in the top cycling races around the world. There are more riders in China but they are riding track or mountain bike. I hope that in the future there can be more pure road riders. When there are more riders there will be better riders.