Recently crowned world time trial silver medallist Taylor Phinney (BMC) will be on the hunt for stage wins at the 2012 Tour of Beijing, October 9-13, while the US ProTeam will look to Vuelta a España stage winner Steve Cummings plus Mathias Frank for general classification options.
For the first time since his narrow five-second loss to Tony Martin at the UCI time trial world championships in the Netherlands, Phinney will line-up against the Omega Pharma-QuickStep German who returns to China as the reigning Tour of Beijing champion.
Last year's Tour of Beijing general classification was decided on the opening 11.3km time trial but this year's five-stage event, comprised solely of road stages, provides no such opportunity to parlay their prowess against the clock into a general classification advantage. Phinney, however, will draw from his strong Classics-style racing form to contend for stage wins.
"We'll take things day-by-day when it comes to the stages, but always keep an eye on the overall," said BMC directeur sportif Max Sciandri. "The first day will be a flat day with a sprint. We have Phinney and [Klaas] Lodewyck for that. The next stage will be harder so that's when we will start to see what we can do on the overall classification. Unfortunately for us, there's no time trial this year."
Cummings, winner of stage 13 at this year's Vuelta a España, finished fourth overall at last year's inaugural Tour of Beijing based on his performance in the opening stage time trial.
"There's no time trial this time and that was a difference-maker last year," said Cummings. "I've also been pretty tired since the world championships so I think it's going to be a hard race for me with the travel, the food and such. But it's the same for everyone."
Frank and Swiss national road champion Martin Kohler also competed in the BMC Racing Team's season-opening race, the Santos Tour Down Under in Australia in January. "It's been a long season," Frank said. "But this will be a nice race to finish it out."
BMC Racing Team roster for the Tour of Beijing:
Steve Cummings (GBr), Mathias Frank (Swi), Martin Kohler (Swi), Klaas Lodewyck (Bel), Taylor Phinney (USA), Mauro Santambrogio (Ita), Danilo Wyss (Swi)
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