The Marco Polo Cycling Team will be making its first appearance on the American racing circuit at the Tour de Georgia, taking place from April 21-27. Founded in 2005, Marco Polo Cycling is China's first professional cycling team. It will be sponsored to take part in the race by a founding sponsor of the event, Atlanta-Based GE Energy, as well as bike manufacturer Trek.
The GE Marco Polo Cycling Team presented by Trek, as it will be called for the Tour de Georgia, features Fuyu Li, who previously rode for the Discovery Channel team in 2007 and is now on the short list of cyclists hoping to be selected as China's sole competitor in road cycling at the 2008 Beijing Olympics this August.
In addition, the squad has an impressive international roster that features world-class Dutch cyclist Leon van Bon, a former Olympic, World and road racing medalist, Russian sprinter Sergey Kudentsov, currently ranked fifth on the UCI Asia Tour; Jai Crawford of Australia, winner of the Tour of Siam in Thailand; and Australian Rhys Pollock, who raced for the DFL-Cyclingnews squad last year, participating in many of Europe's top races.
"Our goal is to help Chinese cycling gain additional professional experience and exposure at the international level, develop new cycling heroes like Fuyu Li, and cultivate closer ties with other countries, a mission that can begin this spring in Georgia," team director Gudo Kramer said.
Xing Yan Dong and Liu Yilin round out the list of Chinese riders who will race in Georgia. "Xing YanDong and Liu Yilin are two of China's most promising young riders. Although new to the international professional racing scene, we can expect to see great things from them in the future," Kramer added.
Completing the roster for the GE Marco Polo Cycling Team presented by Trek is Loh Keong, another young hopeful from Malaysia.