LAMPRE-MERIDA’s Xu Gang will join Cheng Ji (Giant-Shimano) as the Chinese riders leading the charge at the fourth edition of the Tour of Beijing with the final race on the UCI’s WorldTour calendar getting underway on Friday 10th October.
Xu (photo Bettini) is a four-time Chinese road champion, and won the overall title at the Tour of the South China Sea in 2008. The 30-year-old has also ridden the last two editions of the Tour of Beijing and is hungry for success.
Xu said he is looking forward to once again promoting cycling to front of Chinese fans at this year’s race.
“The Tour of Beijing is one of my last races for the 2014 season, a season which has been fantastic and brought me huge amount of professional satisfaction since I started my professional career in a World Tour team – Xu said - For me it is a great honor to race in China in a WorldTour race and hope to increase the amount of Chinese fans for me and my Italian team”.
Riding alongside Xu for Beijing will be 2013 world champion Rui Costa.
“It would be very satisfying to end the season obtaining a joy in Tour of Beijing – Rui said - Last year my aim was to honour the rainbow jersey on Chinese roads, but this year too I’d like to aim to top results. The course is interesting and there are two stages that could be suitable for me. LAMPRE-MERIDA’s selection is very competitive, that’s why I’m sure our fans will have a good time supporting us!”.
In what is being billed as the toughest Tour of Beijing to date, Lampre-Merida has assembled a squad more than capable of answering any questions the challenging parcours asks of them. Italian’s Filippo Pozzato, Sacha Modolo will join Argentine Maximiliano Richeze as the spearheads of the Lampre-Merida attack for the sprint finishes. On the mountainous stages, Costa can rely on support from Xu, Nelson Oliveira, Rafael Valls and up-and-comer Jan Polanc.
“The course of the stages of 2014 edition will give the opportunity to many riders to fight for the final victory of the Chinese race – sport director Matxin explained - The opening stage and the second one will be suitable for sprinters, but in the 3rd stage the battle for the top classification positions will begin. The 4th stage will be the queen one and the winner of the overall classification will be designated: he’ll be honoured in the final day in Beijing”.
“LAMPRE-MERIDA’s cyclists will have the qualities to battle in the classification and for the stages successes: Rui Costa, Oliveira, Polanc and Valls are in a good condition and the course seems to be suitable for them. Modolo, Richeze and Pozzato will target the fastest stages.We’ll count on Xu Gang grind to give our best” Matxin added.
The 2014 Tour of Beijing will be held from Friday 10th to Tuesday 14th of October as the last event on the UCI WorldTour calendar. The five day, 764.5 kilometre route provides for opportunistic racing and takes in breathtaking views of the Great Wall, Beijing’s mountain terrain and embraces key tourism attractions such as Tiananmen Square and the Bird’s Nest.