What's Cool In Road Cycling

Lotto Belisol: Preview Tour of Beijing

The WorldTour season 2013 will be closed with the Tour of Beijing from Friday 11th until Tuesday 15th of October. It’s the third edition of this Chinese race. The Lotto Belisol riders will stand at the start next to among other the new world champion Rui Costa, Liège-Bastogne-Liège winner Dan Martin and fast guy Nacer Bouhanni. Tony Martin will defend his title.

The peloton will pass some famous places like Tien an men Square, the Chinese Wall and the Bird’s Nest Stadion. The opening stage is cut out for sprinters, afterwards it’s up to attackers and climbers. Saturday’s stage is the longest (201,5 km) with three climbs of second category, after what it goes 50 kilometers slightly downhill to the finish in Yanqing. This county of Beijing is the start place for the two following days.

In the third stage seven climbs are waiting for the riders with amongst it one mountain of first category: the Si Hai. On the penultimate day it’s the, according to the organization, toughest stage ever. This will pass the Chinese Wall. There’s an uphill finish on a climb of first category: the Mentougou Miaofeng Mountain.

The final stage takes place in the centre Chinese capital. The riders will start at the Tien an men Square and arrive at the Olympic Bird’s Nest Stadion. This is a stage that closed the previous editions as well. At the end are seven local laps of 7,5 km which lets the riders race along the Water Cube, the swimming stadion at the Olympics of 2008. The sprinters have another chance here. For those who want to follow the race live we let you know it’s six hours later in Beijing than CET time. The stages begin between a quarter to and a quarter past six in the morning CET, the final stage at about half past seven. The finish is each time expected between a quarter past ten and a quarter to eleven CET.

Jean-Pierre Heynderickx, sports director: “We aim for a stage win in the Tour of Beijing. With Kenny Dehaes, Greg Henderson and Jonas Van Genechten we have some finishers in our ranks. When we’re over there we’ll decide which card we’ll play. In the other, tougher stages Adam Hansen should be able to join breakaways. Last year he was also the man who supported Tim Wellens in his battle for a good place in the overall classification (Tim became 10th in the GC, LTB). The course seems tougher than last year.”

“The organization of this race is definitely in order. The teams get cars, minibuses, and a truck at their disposal. In the Far East we can also rely on public attention. Last year there was an oppressive warmth the first days, but afterwards there was a clear sky and it was nice weather for racing. Sometimes there’s a moment to enjoy the touristic sceneries. Last year the boys were able to take a photo of the Chinese Wall. And just before the start on the Tien an men Square one can take a ride there. That’s something I did in my career as well. It gives a special feeling.”

Selection Lotto Belisol: Sander Cordeel, Adam Hansen, Olivier Kaisen, Maarten Neyens, Tosh Van der Sande and Jonas Van Genechten.

Sports directors: Jean-Pierre Heynderickx and Kurt Van de Wouwer

Stage 1: Friday 11th of October: Shunyi – Huairou Studio City (190,5 km)
Stage 2: Saturday 12th of October: Huairo Studio City – Yanqing (201,5 km)
Stage 3: Sunday 13th of October: Yanqing – Qiandiajian (176 km)
Stage 4: Monday 14th of October: Yanqing – Mentougou Miaofeng Mountain (150,5 km)
Stage 5: Tuesday 15th of October: Tian an men Square – Bird’s Nest Piazza (117 km)

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