The Tour of Beijing will host its fourth and final edition this October. UCI President Brian Cookson confirmed to L’Équipe they would not be renewing their contract with race organisers Global Cycling Promotion (GCP) for 2015. The French paper speculated that the new guard at the UCI is looking to sever ties with the race.
"I do not think that's the case,” Cookson told the paper. “We have been having discussions with them for some time. They have other goals and want to do different things. We too want to do something different, we believe that we need to change the direction taken by GCP.”
Speculation about the race’s future has been spreading, with GCP director Alain Rumpf telling Cyclingnews in August a new contract wasn’t yet secure.
The race was inaugurated in 2011 by the then-president of the UCI Pat McQuaid. Since then, the race has attracted a lot of criticism for its conflict of interest – GCP is owned by the UCI – its apparent failure to make money, and the air pollution often seen in Beijing. However, with the race's place on the calendar it was the last chance for teams to get some vital WorldTour points and attracted a strong field.
“It is an event that has had its successes, but it's not a major disaster,” said Cookson. “We will look for other partners to organize other events and try to find another way to end the season on the road.”
Tony Martin won the opening two editions, while last year saw the first summit finish for the race on Mentougou Miaofeng Mountain, with Beñat Intxausti taking the stage win and overall success.
The final edition of the Tour of Beijing will begin on October 10.