Universal Cycle Corporation (UCC) was “designated bicycle sponsor” at the recent Tour of Beijing. That’s quite a big deal, considering China is home to a few *cough* GIANT bicycle brands. Richard Lin, UCC’s president, and Tony Wu, Owner of UCC’s China distributor Rapid Trading, joined me for a late-night coffee at the official team hotel … Continue reading
Riders waking to Tour of Beijing’s final day withdrew heavy hotel curtains to reveal a greyscale environment, opaque and heavily infused with the legacy of China’s insatiable industrialisation. No doubt more than a few questioned the logic of their chosen vocation today, though it never seemed possible that air thick enough to support a chopstick … Continue reading
Stunning scenery and opportunities to glimpse the Great Wall of China underscored today’s undulating 189.5km stage, from Yanqing Gui Chuan Square to Olympic Water Park, as the best yet. Our kamikaze driver, upon whom I bestowed the moniker “Maverick”, was in top form, thrashing our tortured Foton media van through the countryside and blasting the … Continue reading
Finally, some proper hills. The 158km third stage, from Men Tou Gou to Yong Ning, featured three category one climbs, including an epic descent – the type that seems to contradict the theory that engineers are stable, logical beings. In the end though, a well-pedigreed Irishman took honours – whilst our van load of media … Continue reading
Struck hard by illness and languishing in the bottom heap of the 152 rider peloton, Samuel Sanchez was expected to remain outside the major placings during today’s 148km second stage from Bird’s Nest Plaza to Men Tao Gou. By contrast, perhaps nobody expected a Chinese rider to be today’s most aggressive rider.
World Time Trial Champion Tony Martin blitzed the opening individual time trial (ITT) around Beijing’s Olympic Park course, dispatching the 11.3km distance in 13 minutes, 34 seconds (50km/h average speed) to secure the red leader’s jersey. Problem is, almost nobody was there to see it.
Trek Bicycle Corporation began direct market activities in China in 2005, launching with 20 independent retailers and two Trek Concept stores. In 2011, Trek China boasts 260 retail outlets nationwide. Whilst general economic growth has been responsible for boosting the local bicycle market, a successful local marketing program has been pivotal.
For the UCI, local knowledge and expertise has been crucial in taking the first Tour of Beijing WorldTour road cycling race from concept to reality. The same applies for visiting cyclists that plan to navigate Beijing’s traffic and massive urban sprawl. Local rider Shannon Bufton took me out on an early morning ride into the … Continue reading
At the opening ceremony of the 2011 Tour of Beijing – Asia’s inaugural and only UCI WorldTour event – 18 of the world’s best professional cycling teams took turns stepping onto a glittering stage for their introduction. A 19th team entered the room on a wave of pumping music, lights and adoration – China’s National … Continue reading