Tour of Beijing: Galimzyanov to lead Katusha, Bookwalter and Moinart to head BMC Racing Team
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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tour of Beijing: Galimzyanov to lead Katusha, Bookwalter and Moinart to head BMC Racing Team

by VeloNation Press at 10:57 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
New WorldTour race starts in a fortnight

Denis GalimzyanovWith the Tour of Beijing starting two weeks from tomorrow, more details of the line-ups for this year’s event have been confirmed.

The Katusha and BMC Racing Team squads for the new WorldTour race have been finalised, with Paris-Brusselswiner Denis Galimzyanov heading the Russian outfit and aiming for stage wins. However the team will also protect two others, as they are the likely GC contenders on the team.

“For general classification, since I think the individual time trial will be crucial, we decided to count on Artem Ovechkin and Nikolay Trusov,” said directeur sportif Gennady Mikhaylov. “The first is our best individual time trial rider, while the second is good both at final rushes [sprints] and the individual time trial,”

However he’s clear that Galimzyanov has a big chance of grabbing stages. “We'll go into Beijing with our best sprinter, Galimzyanov, for winning some stages at the final rush. In order to help him do his best, we also decided to bring his usual training group for sprints, composed of (Stijn) Vandenbergh, (Vladimir) Isaychev, (Alexandr) Porsev and (Egor) Silin.” The team will also feature Moldova’s national champion Alexandr Pliuschin.

Galimzyanov will lead the national team at the world road race championships this week, aiming to ride strongly on the mainly flat course, then will turn his attention to the new race. “I'd like to be the first Russian rider who wins in China. This will be my goal in Tour of Beijing,” he said.

“With Katusha, Itera-Katusha and the whole Russian Cycling Global Project, we proved that cycling can spread worldwide. This Tour of Beijing will be an interesting stage of this process. Let's hope, for the Chinese, this will be a huge show.”

Meanwhile the BMC Racing Team will hope that TT specialist Brent Bookwalter will fare well in the opening race against the clock. The 27 year old rider, who finished second in a time trial in last year’s Giro d’Italia, will be one of two riders named as leaders of the team. The other is the Frenchman Amaël Moinard, who won a stage and took the mountains classification in last year’s Paris-Nice.

Bookwalter is relishing seeing a new part of the world and the Chinese culture. It’s been a long season for the rider who, along with Moinard, was part of the team backing up Cadel Evans in winning the Tour de France, but the thoughts of heading to the Tour of Beijing give him energy at this late point of the year.

“We don’t get to see a lot of that (the surroundings) or immerse ourselves in a whole lot of that during a bike race, but I’ve never been anywhere is Asia,” he said. “It is a good opportunity to see a new part of the world through a bike race.”

The team’s hopes for the sprints will rest upon the shoulders of double Norwegian road race champion Alexander Kristoff, while the past US criterium champion John Murphy, Chad Beyer, Chris Butler, Danilo Wyss and Simon Zahner complete the lineup.

The WorldTour race begins on Wednesday October 5th with an 11.3 kilometre individual time trial from Bird’s Nest to Water Cube. The riders will use normal bikes for the test.

The subsequent stages will finish at Men Tou Gou, Yong Ning Town, Shunyi Olympic Rowing and Canoeing Centre and Bird’s Nest Olympic Stadium.

Following an agreement to allow the use of race radios during the 2012 season, all eighteen WorldTour teams have agreed to take part in the race. They had previously threatened to boycott the event due to a dispute with the UCI over the matter.

Tour of Beijing (WorldTour):

Stage one, Wednesday 5th October: Individual Time Trial, Bird’s Nest – Water Cube via Olympic Park circuit, 11.3km
Stage two, Thursday 6th October: Bird’s Nest to Men Tou Gou via North Gate of Summer Palace, 137km
Stage three, Friday 7th October: Men Tou Gou to Yong Ning Town via Thirteen Ming Tombs Reservoir, 162km
Stage four, Saturday 8th October: Yan Qing Gui Chuan Square to Shunyi Olympic Rowing and Canoeing Centre via Mutianyu Great Wall, 189.5km
Stage five, Sunday 9th October: Tian An Men Square to Bird’s Nest Olympic Stadium, 118km


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