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.
Asia’s first WorldTour professional road cycling event will be held in Beijing, 5-9 October, but it didn’t happen by chance. Global Cycling Promotion, a relatively new commercial division of cycling’s Swiss-based governing body, the UCI, is owner and promoter of this event. Alain Rumpf, GCP’s director and keen rider himself, elaborates.