UCI officials flew to China this week to help usher another Chinese stage race, the Tour of Hangzhou, into the WorldTour.
Pat McQuaid, president of the UCI, and Alain Rumpf, director of the UCI's Global Cycling Promotion met with officials in Hangzhou to sign an agreement to launch the race, which is scheduled to follow the Tour of Beijing on the calendar.
Deputy Mayor Chen Xiaoping, in the presence of the Secretary Huang and the Director of the Hangzhou Sports Bureau Zhao Rongfu, inked the agreement to support the event.
“This agreement represents the first step in a new phase of our development strategy," Rumpf said. "After the Tour of Beijing, China offers us a second fantastic opportunity to promote the image of cycling in the world’s biggest country, and I am convinced that those in charge of this initiative are perfectly capable of meeting the other administrative deadlines necessary to obtain a place in the UCI WorldTour.”
The five-stage event is set for the Wednesday through Sunday following the Tour of Beijing in Hangzhou, which is 200km southwest of Beijing.
Rumpf and his crew did their first reconnaissance of the roads in the area. “The lay of the terrain will allow us to design a very interesting course, ideal for a high-level race wishing to become part of the UCI WorldTour,” said Rumpf.
According to the regulations, the Tour of Hangzhou must now make a request for a UCI WorldTour licence, which will be examined by the Licences Commission.