The Tour of Beijing starts from Tiananmen square, the center of Beijing on Tuesday. Other prominent riders to compete in the 5-day event include the defending champion Tony Martin and Andy Schleck.
2008 Beijing Olympic road race champion Samuel Sanchez. Photo: EFE
Some of the world's top road cyclists are gathering in Chinese capital for the second edition of Tour of Beijing, which will be staged in the city from October 9th to 14th.
The event will feature the likes of current world time trial champion Tony Martin, 2010 Tour de France winner Andy Schleck, as well as the 2008 Beijing Olympic road race champion Samuel Sanchez.
Martin said he is very happy to come back to Beijing and hope that he can repeat his success of last year, but he is aware that the elimination of the time-trial in this edition will reduce his chance of raising the trophy again here.
Schleck, who fractured his hip at the Criterium du Dauphine in June, is still recovering from this injury. He restarted competition in Belgium just before flying to Beijing, at Tournai-Binche-Tournai, where he pulled-out after 130 kilometres.
Samuel Sanchez, the Beijing games gold medalist, failed to shine in the first edition last year but the Spanish cyclist said he and his teammates (Euskaltel-Euskadi) will try their best to have a better performance this year.
There are about 160 riders of 20 teams - 18 professional teams and 2 Chinese teams will race in the Beijing event, though the air quality has been not satisfactory in the past couple of days, the riders said in the presser that they can handle it.
For Chinese riders, the Beijing event is a very good opportunity for them to learn from the world top athletes and improve themselves.
The race will also feature some of China's top tourist attractions including the Bird's Nest Stadium and the Great Wall.