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 WorldTour event which it created out of thin air in 2011.
There will be much more climbing to look forward to in 2012
The live counter on the official website which is improved from last year reminds us that 98 days remain until the 2012 Tour of Beijing. Totalling 761.5 kilometres over five stages, the 2012 race is, on average, 30 kilometres longer per day than the previous edition. Three category-one climbs, including one on the final day, almost certainly removes the possibility of a predictable finish. Though 2011 winner Tony Martin (then riding for the now defunct HTC-High) is an extremely capable climber, the more-balanced parcours opens up the podium to a wider array of riders.
The response from the teams and riders (in 2011) was very positive, stated Global Cycling Promotion s director Alain Rumpf, and whilst we had a well balanced course last year and the opening stage time trial around Olympic Park provided memorable images of the first WorldTour event in China, we did feel we required a different test for 2012.
This year there will not be a time trial and we have added some more climbs, including category one climbs on stages two, three and a testing climb within 30km of the finish on the final day. It should make for an exciting race. The climbs are hard, but the sprinters may still be in the mix, and we feel it will also provide a better possibility for a successful breakaway
With the exception of the first and second stages, which borrow exactly and heavily (respectively) from the 2011 Tour of Beijing route, no maps have been published at time of writing. Updates will be made here accordingly.
Stage 1 | Tian An Men Square to Bird s Nest Olympic Stadium 117km
Tuesday, 9th October 2012 (starts 14:00 local time)
Stage 2 | Bird s Nest to Men Tou Gou 134km
Wednesday, 10th October 2012 (starts 13:25 local time)
Stage 3 | Men Tou Gou to Badaling Great Wall 162.5km
Thursday, 11th October (starts 12:45 local time)
Stage 4 | Yan Qing to Chang Ping 165.5km
Friday, 12th October (starts 12:50 local time)
Stage 5 | Chang Ping to Ping Gu 182.5km
Saturday, 13th October (starts 12:20 local time)