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Hushovd stars in BMC line-up for Tour of Beijing

By:
Cycling News
Published:
October 03, 2013, 15:16 BST,
Updated:
October 03, 2013, 16:16 BST
Edition:
Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, October 3, 2013
Race:
Tour of Beijing
2010 Worlds: Thor Hushovd (Norway) wins the world championship ahead of Matti Breschel (Denmark) and Allan Davis (Australia)

2010 Worlds: Thor Hushovd (Norway) wins the world championship ahead of Matti Breschel (Denmark) and Allan Davis (Australia)

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Cummings and Pinotti set to start

Thor Hushovd will lead BMC into the Tour of Beijing, October 11-15, as he aims to end his season on a high.

"I have never been to China, so I am looking forward to seeing the country and the city of Beijing itself,” Hushovd said in a press release issued by the race.

“My goal is to win a stage, but I will also be working hard to help our general classification riders get a good placing on the overall.”

After a 2012 season that was ravaged by injury and illness, Hushovd’s career has gone through somewhat of an Indian summer with the 35-year-old winning the Artic Race in his native Norway and two stages of the Tour de Pologne.

As well as aiming for a stage win, Hushovd will also ride in support of the team’s overall ambitions. Although the team have yet to name a designated rider for the overall they will arrive in Beijing with a squad full of depth and with the race holding its first ever mountain top finish this year, Mathias Frank might be considered their best option for an assault on the general classification.

The Swiss rider leaves BMC at the end of the season but has enjoyed his best season to date, winning two stages of the Tour of Austria, finishing second overall in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, was fourth in the Tour of California and fifth in the Tour of Switzerland.

"We would like to do well there and put a nice finish on a season where we were gradually getting better and better. We are bringing guys who can win stages and guys who can do well on the overall. So it's a race that we are definitely targeting to do well in,” said team director Max Sciandri.

The team also lines up with British all-rounder Stephen Cummings, who won a stage in last year’s Tour of Beijing.

"Winning a stage last year was very satisfying. The route was nice with a few climbs and a technical descent, and with it being the last race of the year, it was extra special,” Cummings said.

"The route and roads are good and there are opportunities for all types of riders to have success. Climbers, sprinters, breakaway specialists – there is something for everyone. The organisation has been very good and you feel safe. It's also nice to go and see and experience China.

“I think we have options, which is great. We have a few guys who can do well on the overall and we have guys who can go for stage wins. I hope we can have some nice success. My form is good, so I'm hopeful I can do something."

Marco Pinotti will ride his final WorldTour race in Beijing. The Italian confirmed on Thursday that he will retire at the end of the season to take up a coaching role with BMC. Pinotti's final race as a professional will be the Chrono des Nations time trial on October 20, where he will ride one last time in the colours of Italian time trial champion.

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