First Chinese rider to ProTour

The signing of Fuyu Li by the Discovery Channel team makes him the first-ever Chinese rider to gain a contract at cycling's highest level.

In another first, Li became the first Chinese rider to win a UCI stage race at the Tour of Thailand this season. He also recorded wins at the GP Westfalen in Germany, and finished third in the time trial and road race at the Chinese national championships.

"Fuyu has proven that he is a strong rider, has had some impressive results and we are excited to have him as a member of our team," said team manager Johan Bruyneel. "He will certainly need some time to get used to the speed and style of racing, but I will design a program that allows him to be successful. I am sure he will adapt quickly."

Currently at the Great Wall cycling festival, the largest amateur bicycle racing and participatory event in China, Li was naturally delighted to be signed by one of the world's best teams. "I am so very happy that Johan has selected me to be a part of the Discovery Channel Team," he said.

"This is a dream come true for me and I am excited to be the first Chinese rider to race at this elite level. I can only hope that this will increase the awareness for the sport and also cycling participation in China."

Li's signing has expanded the international flavour of the Discovery Channel team to include riders from 12 countries so far.

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