Less than a month before the start of the inaugural Hong Kong-Shanghai Tour, organisers are faced with the prospect of cancellation after a proposed route for one of the stages was knocked back.
The Hong Kong Cycling Association (HKCA), organisers of the event, had planned a 80 kilometre criterium at the new AsiaWorld-Expo in Chek Lap Kok, adjacent to Hong Kong International Airport, on third day. However, the airport authorities in charge of the land have notified the HKCA that a seminar will be hosted two days after the planned stage, and the roads will need to be closed in the lead-up to the event.
Fredrick Chan Chun-hung, general secretary of the Hong Kong Cycling Association, believed there to be ample time to conduct both events without disruption: "A seminar will not involve too much move-in work compared to a large scale exhibition," he said to the South China Morning Post. "I remember we had an international race outside the Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai when there was one of the biggest toys shows inside the centre a couple of years ago and we could still make it."
The Hong Kong-Shanghai Tour was to have begun on May 2 with road races in Shanghai and Kunshan, Jiangsu, before moving to Hong Kong with two criteriums in Chek Lap Kok and Sha Tin. Chan added it's too late to find an alternative route for the May 6 criterium in Chek Lap Kok. "We will try to talk to the Airport Authority again and see if we can work out a win-win situation," he said.