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A look at the school, the races and the future of this unique 'sport'
See how nearly every bicycle saddle is made
Ever wonder how FSA does it? Take a walk through the factory and find out
Classic Colnago steel frame with gorgeous pantographed Campagnolo components
Tomasz Marczynski (Vacansoleil)
Petacchi, Marczynski set to headline
Lampre head into the five-stage event with the important goal of moving up the UCI WorldTour rankings with the team in 14th place of the 18 teams.
"During the season we didn't obtain the good results we aimed to, even if we gave valuable experience to young talent that will be the top riders in the future," said former world champion and Lampre-ISD general manager Giuseppe Saronni.
"The Beijing race will be very important for us because our goal is to complete the season in a winning way and to gain the points in the WorldTour ranking."
The team will be lead by Alessandro Petacchi with Davide Viganò, Davide Cimolai and Grega Bole riding in support of the Italian in the sprints. Manuele Mori and Daniele Pietropolli will be Lampre's opportunists while Morris Possoni will target the tough uphill 162.5 km third stage between Green Sea Forest Park and Yan Qing Ba Da Ling Great Wall.
Meantime, Vacansoleil-DCM will be aiming to place two riders inside the top 10 with Tomasz Marczynski and Johnny Hoogerland included in the team. The outfit's three fast men Kenny Van Hummel, Pim Ligthart and Barry Markus will aim for the sprints.
"We look to ride aggressive and attractive like the fans are used to seeing from Vacansoleil-DCM and help play a key role in making the sport attractive all over the world," said sport director Michel Cornelisse.
The Dutch team will be looking to end the season the same way they began after earning three stage wins at Paris-Nice and second on general classification at Tirreno-Adriatico.
"In 2011 it was a great experience to do the Tour of Beijing and we are really looking forward to end the WorldTour season there after we had a great start in this year's first WorldTour races," Cornelisse said.