- During a press conference held in Shanghai, Amaury Sport Organisation and the Chinese communication group Activation Sports have announced the creation of the Tour de France ChinaCritérium and the Etape China by le Tour de France. The first editions will be held next autumn, on September 10 in Changsha for the Etape China and October 28and 29 in Shanghai for the Critérium.
- The format for the Critérium, which has been employed in the Japanese city of Saitama since 2013, allows the Tour champions to race in front of the Asian public, who are showing an increasing interest in the Tour de France.
- The EtapeBy series continues its development and once again demonstrates the scope of the Tour de France’s international reach. This new date on the calendar should highlight the growing enthusiasm of the Chinese for cycling.
When the passion for cycling is expressed, the Tour de France responds. With nearly 450 million bicycles, China is the world’s leading bicycle power! While none of these riders’ names appear in the record books, and only one among them, Ji Cheng, has raced in the event, the Tour de France will be present in China in 2017 for the first edition of the Tour de France China Critérium, with a selection of those who stood out on the roads of France in July.
On September 10, the Tour de France will make its debut in China with the Etape China by le Tour de France, a ride around the city of Changsa, the birth place of Mao, on a route combining the quality of the Etape series and the discovery of a region rich in history and authenticity. Several thousand enthusiasts are expected for this 1st edition, which now calls for others to respond to the growing enthusiasm of the Chinese for whom cycling is more than a sport; it is historical a way of life.
This coming October 28 and 29, a peloton of 60 riders, bringing together the leaders of the elite teams and a selection of professional Chinese cyclists, will set off on the roads of Shanghai for the second part of the arrival of the Tour de France in China. A Critérium will be contested on a 3-kilometre circuit. Designed in part on the sites of the 2010 Universal Exhibition and the China Art Museum, the Tour de France China Critérium will take place among the prestigious sites in Shanghai. The professional riders will head into action at the conclusion of a weekend dedicated to bicycle riding during which several thousand amateurs are also expected to take part in the 22km family ride, which will start from the Oriental Pearl Tower, the symbol of the city’s modernity.
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To conclude the launch ceremony attended by Andy Schleck, who rode in the Yellow Jersey in the 2010 Tour, and Kathy Zou, Executive Director of Activation Sports, A.S.O. President Jean-Etienne Amaury said how thrilled he was about the partnership that has been put in place: “We want to share the passion all over the world. The Tour de France is reinventing itself and thriving in the context of the global development of cycling. We believe that Activation Sport, with its strong desire to develop a healthy and sustainable sport-oriented lifestyle, will be the ideal gateway for us to reach the millions of bicycle lovers in China. “