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“This year the route discovers new mountains outside Beijing which are growing in popularity for both summer and winter sports."


09.08.2014 @ 14:31 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The organizers of the Tour of Beijing have presented the hardest course yet for the 4th edition of the race. Last year's mountaintop finish will be back and a tougher run-in to the final climb and a hard opening stage should make the race more selective than ever before.


The toughest parcours in the short history of the event and new towns in the high mountains north of Beijing feature in the route for the 2014 Tour of Beijing.
In announcing the route for the fourth edition of Asia’s only UCI WorldTour event, to be held from Friday 10th to Tuesday 14th October, organisers have unveiled a tough test for the peloton, including an opening day in the winter sports playground of Chongli and Zhangjiakou.
Some familiar stages return, including the stage three journey around Yanqing and the Queen stage mountain top finish at the summit of Mentougou Miaofeng Mountain which is expected to determine the general classification on the penultimate day.
The Miaofeng climb produced a stunning battle in 2013, with Movistar’s Benat Intxaustiwithstanding a withering finish from Garmin Sharp’s Dan Martin to claim the stage win and with it the overall Tour of Beijing title.
The 175km journey has been stiffened even further with the addition of two additional climbs before the peloton reaches the 12km ascent to the summit of Miaofeng Mountain.
The now traditional final stage from Tiananmen Square to the Bird’s Nest Olympic stadiumwill round out the event once again, and with it the crowning of the overall titles in the year long UCI WorldTour.
Global Cycling Promotion Director Alain Rumpf said the aim in 2014 was to continue to build on the momentum established over the first three instalments of the Tour of Beijing.
“Last year we witnessed five days of wonderful racing, from Thor Hushovd’s opening win, two consecutive victories to Nacer Bouhanni and then Benat Intxausti’s brilliant climb to claim victory.  The final day witnessed a new name in Luka Mezgec claim his debut WorldTour victory,” Rumpf said.
“This year the racing promises to again be fierce and the route highlights a different side of China than most people are used to seeing,” Mr Rumpf said.
“For the past three years the Tour of Beijing has showcased breathtaking views of the Great Wall, Beijing’s mountain terrain and tourism attractions such as Tiananmen Square and the Bird’s Nest.”
“This year the route discovers new mountains outside Beijing which are growing in popularity for both summer and winter sports,” Rumpf added.
“We know the mountains around Beijing are a brilliant cycling environment, but when the snow arrives it becomes a winter playground. The opening stage is along a ridge on the mountains above Chongli and Zhangjiajkou, it is home to hundreds of clean energy generating wind turbines and will be a solid test for the peloton.”
“The mountain finish returns, as will Panda Corner, which was very popular with the riders and local cycling fans last year.  We think it can provide a uniquely Chinese element to the race,” Rumpf said.
Mr Chen Jie, Deputy Director of Beijing Municipal Bureau of Sports, said the Beijing government created the Tour of Beijing as an international brand event in the recent years.
“The Tour of Beijing has gradually become an important part of world cycling after three years of success with the perfect route design, quality teams attending, increased number of cycling stars, rapid growth of brand awareness and reputation,” Mr Chen said.
“This year, the Tour of Beijing again learns from other international events such as the Tour de France and will be breaking the geographical limitations and extending to the Zhangjiakou city, which is significant.”
“The move will undoubtedly promote the cooperation of Beijing and Zhangjiakou in the fields of sport, culture, tourism and others, as well as speeding up the pace of synergetic development of the two cities. Taking the opportunity, it also shows to the world that Beijing and Zhangjiakou city have the strength and capabilities of jointly organizing large-scale international events.”
“For the development of Tour of Beijing, the race can reach out of Beijing, expand the influence, as well as inspire the enthusiasm of other areas and encourage a greater number of people join the cycling sport. The picturesque mountains and culture of Zhangjiakou, it’s believable to bring an absolutely new experience for cyclists and also bring a deep impression to a global audience through the television broadcast,” Mr Chen said.
The 2014 Tour of Beijing will be held from the Friday 10th to Tuesday 14th of October as the final stop of the UCI WorldTour.

Stage summaries are provided below with commentary from Alan Rushton, technical consultant of the Tour of Beijing:
Stage One
Friday 10th October 2014
Chongli - Zhangjiakou
The pre-race assembly and start of the 2014 Tour of Beijing is in Chongli, north of Beijing..
At 167km, this year’s opening stage is a tough assignment, with a long climb early, high altitude and an undulating road. There is one 2nd category climb and two 3rd category climbs, although the road continually rises and falls, twists and turns for a total of 124km before the peloton descends to 750 metres for an impressive finish at Zhangjiakou.
“Normally the opening stage eases riders into the race but this year it is very different.  Chonglii is at 1,300 metres above sea level and the riders race to 1,940 metres in the first 38km on a very challenging road and there will be strong cross winds – no doubt about it, almost 1000 wind turbines up there cannot be wrong!”
Stage Two
Saturday 11th October 2014
Chongli - Yanqing
After a tough opening day, stage two is more like the usual opening stage, a relatively flat journey to Yanqing. There are just two Category 3 climbs, the last one 64km before the line.
“The field return to Chong Li after the first stage with stage two following a gradually descending route to Yanqing. Of course, there is a chance for an opportunistic breakaway to survive, but in all likelihood a sprint finish can be expected.”
Stage Three
Sunday 12th October 2014
Yanqing – Qianjiadian Chao Yang Temple Temple
The longest stage in the Tour, stage three offers a variety of tricky climbs followed by rapid descents. Seven classified climbs including two 2nd category and the 820m Si Hai 1st category climb will test the peloton.
“This is a direct repeat of stage three of the 2013 Tour of Beijing where the surprise winner was sprinter Nacer Bouhanni. To win it he had to tackle 3 Category 3, two Category 2 and one Category 1 ascent, the last one being just 11km before the finish. It is a tough stage through some spectacular country.”
Stage Four
Monday 13th October 2014
Yanqing - Miaofeng Mountain Summit
Easily the toughest stage of the 2014 Tour of Beijing, in most respects it is identical to the 2013 version, with the addition of a category two climb before the final climb.  The stage features a spectacular passage through The Great Wall before the Category 1 7.7km Xian Ren climb at 61km with an average of 5.5% although the early stages are much steeper. It is followed rapidly afterwards by the 3.5km 7.1% Gao Ya Kou Category 2 climb. There are two further Category 3 climbs and a recently inserted Category 2 climb just before the start of the final 12km climb of Miaofeng Mountain to the summit finish.
“With stunning views of mountains, temples and of course the Great Wall, this is the Queen Stage of the Tour, Last year quite a large group arrived together at the start of the final climb but we expect that the addition of the preceding climbs this year will make the end of this stage very selective. Expect the general classification winner to emerge from this epic climb, but as is often the case with any gruelling climbs, teamwork will be pivotal for success.”
Stage Five
Tuesday 14th October 2014
Tiananmen Square - Bird’s Nest
The now traditional final stage route travels from the historic Tiananmen Square through an avenue of impressive buildings and onto a fast 12 lap circuit around the Olympic precinct and Bird’s Nest Stadium.
“Flat and fast with the iconic Water Cube and Bird’s Nest on either side of the finish line, the final stage is a sprinter’s paradise, but also the perfect balance to what may turn out to be one of the most challenging of the four editions of the UCI WorldTour race.”



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