The third edition of the Tour of Beijing is set to produce the most challenging course in its short history as the official route for the five-day event was unveiled today.
As the final race on the WorldTour calendar for the third consecutive year, the Tour of Beijing will be held from Friday 11th to Tuesday 15th October and offers a course filled with opportunities for sprinters, breakaways and climbers.
The stage four 150km journey from Yanqing to Mentougou is set to be the toughest day on the road, negotiating two category 1 climbs, including a mountain top finish on Mentougou Miaofeng Mountain.
The 117km stage from Tiananmen Square to the Bird’s Nest Olympic Piazza returns as the grand finale on day five and is the only consistent stage amongst the three editions.
Global Cycling Promotion Director Alain Rumpf says that the aim of this year’s route is to continue to provide a challenging parcours for the riders and produce exciting end of season racing.
“We continue to work hard on the course that provides scenic and exciting stages that both showcase the best of Beijing and provide a challenging race for riders,” Mr Rumpf said.
“Now in its third edition, the Tour of Beijing continues to grow and improve off the successes and learning’s from the first two editions.
“It is also in our priorities to ensure the race continues to get closer to the ever growing number of cycling fans in Beijing and it is something we are working with the Local Organising Committee to achieve.”
The 2013 Tour of Beijing will be held from the 11th to the 15th of October as the last event on the UCI WorldTour calendar. The five day, 836 kilometre route is opportunistic and takes in breathtaking views of the Great Wall, Beijing’s mountain terrain and embraces key tourism attractions such as Tiananmen Square and the Bird’s Nest.
Stage summaries are provided below with commentary from Alan Rushton, technical consultant of the Tour of Beijing:
Shunyi to Huairou Studio City
Opening glory looks likely to sit with the sprinters again in 2013. One of two long stages of the 2013 Tour of Beijing at 190.5kms, the first day of racing has three opportunities for intermediate sprints and just one small climb early in the route that will not cause too much trouble to the bunch.
“The day one first stage is a rolling route with just one 3rd category climb that presents itself before the midway point. The stage is highly likely to end in a mass sprint.”
Alan Rushton, Technical Consultant, Tour of Beijing
Huairou Studio City to Yanqing
The longest of the five stages, day two features three category 2 climbs that provide a number of opportunities for an aggressive breakaway. The final 50km slightly downhill finish does however keep same hopes alive for teams with survivors in the main group to work together to pull back escapees.
“A long stage with four classified climbs, three of them 2nd category. Will be a tough stage and selective finish.”
Yanqing to Qiandiajian
A considerably bumpy road, with riders seemingly ascending or descending all but the entire stage. Seven classified climbs shape a 176km journey that is likely to suit a small bunch of punchy climbers.
“Seven classified climbs including two 2nd category and the 820m Si Hai 1st category climb.”
Yanqing to Mentougou Miaofeng Mountain
Set to stand as the toughest stage in Tour of Beijing history, the stage four finish at the summit of Mentougou Miaofeng Mountain is likely to be the most decisive in the general classification battle. The final climb is preluded by an initial category one and short and sharp category 2 climb making it a tough day at the office.
“A stunning day on the road, the race passes through the Great Wall after just 22kms and over three other 1st, 2nd and 3rd category ascents before the final showdown on Miaofeng.”
Tian an men Square to Bird’s Nest Piazza
A 117km journey from the historic Tiananmen square in the centre of Beijing to Olympic Park, including seven circuits of a 7.5km loop that includes the famous Bird’s Nest Stadium and Water Cube aquatic facility. The final and well-known traditional stage of the Tour of Beijing is one for the speedsters.
“A prestige stage that has featured in both previous editions of the Tour of Beijing. Flat, fast and ideal for sprinters.”