Cycling has been on the upswing, thanks to the globalisation of the sport, and two prime areas of development are in Africa and Asia. The UCI and the major European race promoters have helped to stimulate the cycling economy in these regions, bringing new races onto the WorldTour stage as well as offering up opportunities for regional racers to face off against the Europeans.
In Africa, the Tour du Faso in Burkina Faso, the Tropicale Amissa Bongo in Gabon and the Tour of Rwanda are some of the top races, while China tends to dominate in Asia, especially since the advent of the Tour of Beijing WorldTour race.
This year the ASO stepped in to promote the Saitama Criterium in Japan which attracted the top Tour de France riders: Chris Froome, Peter Sagan and world champion Rui Costa. The Japan Cup also hosted a strong field, with the road race won by Saxo-Tinkoff's Michael Rogers and the criterium taken out by Steele von Hoff.
While the race action may look the same no matter which continent hosts the event, the scenery, spectators and overall atmosphere is unique to each country as the hosts try to inject some local culture.
We hope you enjoy this gallery of images from our photo provider AFP from these emerging events.
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