"It's fun to be part of a new race and I think it's something historic to be part of a new WorldTour race. Hopefully in 15 years I'll still be racing and we can talk about being at the first edition of the Tour of Beijing," King told Cyclingnews while signing autographs for the Chinese fans.
King was part of a 50-ride peloton that came to the line fractions of a second behind the successful three-man breakaway on a stage won by Irishman Nicolas Roche.
He took the best young rider's classification lead from his friend and former Trek-Livestrong teammate Alex Dowsett (Sky), who finished eight minutes behind.
"It's really cool, [it's] a testament to the success of that program," King said. He's won the young rider's classification in several domestic events, but was thrilled to step into the role in his first ever WorldTour stage race.
"To have the white jersey in a ProTour [sic] race is a real improvement, it's encouraging to me. It's really exciting."
One one of the race's more challenging stages, King was pleased to be part of his team's success. His RadioShack teammate Philip Deignan took second on the stage, but King said it was a hard day in the saddle.
"For me it was very hard. a lot of guys were suffering. It was still a large group at the finish, but everyone was suffering.
"The speed was pretty high, the climbs weren't so steep, so the wind played a factor. Sometimes it was a headwind, but when it was a crosswind it got strung out and guys were attacking."