UCI grants a four-year WorldTour license to the Tour of Hangzhou
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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

UCI grants a four-year WorldTour license to the Tour of Hangzhou

by Ben Atkins at 1:43 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
China now has fifth most days in UCI’s flagship series behind France, Italy, Spain and Switzerland

tour of hangzhouThe Licenses Commission of the International Cycling Union (UCI) has agreed to grant the new Tour of Hangzhou race a four-year license to be part of its flagship WorldTour series. The five-day race, which will be held in the eastern Zhenjiang province of China between October 17th and 21st, will closely follow the Tour of Beijing, which was organised for the first time last year. With the Giro del Lombardia - now known as il Lombardia - moving forward by more than two weeks this year, the new event will close out the WorldTour and could see fierce competition as teams clamour for points towards next year’s qualification.

Both races are organised by the UCI’s race promotion arm, Global Cycling Promotion, and take China’s race days in the sport’s top tier up to ten. Despite having no riders in any of the 18 WorldTour ProTeams - and Argos-Shimano’s Cheng Ji, and Champion System’s Kun Jiang, Pengda Jiao, Biao Liu and Gang Xu the only Chinese riders competing at the second, Professional Continental, level - the country now has as many days in the WorldTour as Belgium, with only France, Italy, Spain and Switzerland having more.

“The Licences Commission’s decision to award a four-year licence to the Tour of Hangzhou is excellent news for cycling,” said UCI President Pat McQuaid. “One year after the success of the first Tour of Beijing, we are delighted to offer the world of cycling – riders, teams, partners, media, spectators – this new opening in Asia which widens the horizons of our sport and lends it new weight. Thanks to this development throughout the world, but without forgetting its origins, the UCI guarantees cycling’s modern status and reinforces its position among the major Olympic disciplines.”

In addition to Hangzhou, the UCI Licenses Commission also renewed the WorldTour licenses of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, the Critérium du Dauphiné and Clasica San Sebastian through 2016. While their licenses were not due to expire until after their 2013 editions, the Grand Prix’ of Quebec and Montreal both had theirs extended through 2016 also.

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