Where is pro cycling and cycling culture in China going? For most of the year, this question circles in a small fishbowl of new media (like this blog). However, the recent Tour of Beijing has helped the discussion spill over into much larger ponds, including that of China’s state-owned Xinhua News Agency.
UCI-owned event creator/promoter Global Cycling Promotions copped flak on many aspects of its inaugural Tour of Beijing, including a dearth of spectators, pollution, location and even the very fact that it existed. Well, the race is here to stay until at least 2014, so GCP has focused on a more exciting route for the Chinese … Continue reading
Noise emanating from professional cycling’s European spring classics understandably drowned out the distant hum of bicycle industry and racing snippets from Asia; which doesn’t mean nothing happened in this part of the world. Ad men, analysis, embargoes, trade secrets and web exclusives featured on Cycling iQ’s Twitter feed during the past week
Since departing his native Australia for China in 2006, former urban planner and velophile Shannon Bufton has honed his considerable energy into bringing the bicycle back to Beijing. Last weekend, he went all out; unveiling a new high-end bicycle exhibition, Beijing Bike Week, from within the capital city’s opulent Jingbao Mall.
Yesterday, Cycling iQ explored the development of emerging bicycle brand UCC in its home territory of China. Though UCC produces 50,000 self-branded bicycles each year, another 400,000 units are produced in its factories for other well-known bicycle brands. The most enduring relationship of this kind is with Australasian brand, Avanti. Welcome to the world of … Continue reading
Siloed in the NE Asia market (with Indonesia an exception), UCC might well be the biggest bicycle brand you never heard of. Since inception five years ago, Universal Cycle Corporation’s year-on-year growth is modest in the context only a Chinese start-up in a country with 8-10% annual economic growth could truly relate to. So why isn’t … Continue reading
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