For the third straight year, China's premier stage race, the Tour of Hainan (UCI 2.HC), will start and finish in Wanning-Xinglong, with the longest route ever having been released by race organisers. From October 28 to November 5, 1,566km will be covered on the tropical island in the nine-day event won last year by Astana's Alexey Lutsenko.
The Tour of Hainan will celebrate its 12th edition this year after having crowned WorldTour riders eight times: Boris Shpilevski (2008), Francisco Ventoso (2009), Valentin Iglinskiy (2010 and 2011), Dmitriy Gruzdev (2012), Moreno Hofland (2013), Sacha Modolo (2015) and Lutsenko last year.
Once again, the organising committee has come up with a transfer-free route to accommodate the teams and an counter-clockwise direction to highlight touristic attractions of the Paradisiacal island. Stage 7 to Wuzhishan is set to be the queen stage, with an increased number of intermediate sprints (21) to animate the flattish stages.
Teams are yet to be announced, but a WorldTour class participation is expected as in previous editions, with an extensive worldwide TV broadcast that will expose multiple resorts, natural attractions and cultural treasures to show Hainan's unique coastal scenery, rain forest scenery, Southeast Asia style and the lingering charm of the minority ethnic groups Li and Miao.
2017 Tour of Hainan
October 28, Stage 1: Wanning Xinglong Circuit Race, 88.3 km
October 29, Stage 2: Wanning Xinglong-Qionghai-Ding'an-Wenchang-Haikou, 230.2 km
October 30, Stage 3: Haikou-Chengmai, 155.6 km
October 31, Stage 4: Chengmai-Lingao-Danzhou, 192.3 km
November 1, Stage 5: Danzhou-Baisha-Changjiang, 167.5 km
November 2, Stage 6: Changjiang-Dongfang-Ledong-Sanya, 222.6 km
November 3, Stage 7: Sanya-Baoting-Wuzhishan, 166 km
November 4, Stage 8: Wuzhishan-Qiongzhong-Lingshui, 188.8 km
November 5, Stage 9: Lingshui-Wanning Xinglong, 154.7 km