The Champion System Pro Cycling Team will count all four of its Chinese riders among the seven on its roster for the Tour of Qinghai Lake when the Chinese race begins Friday.
China's Kun Jiang, Pengda Jiao, Biao Liu and Gang Xu will be joined by Australians Will Clarke, Aaron Kemps and Cameron Wurf in the 13-stage race that features some of the highest altitude race courses in the world.
Liu, who hails from the Qinghai region, said he has been training specifically to excel in his "hometown race." In five previous appearances at the Tour of Qinghai Lake, his best result is 34th in 2009. But the runner-up at last year's Chinese national time trial has much higher ambitions for the race that first attracted him to cycling.
"My goal and biggest wish for Tour of Qinghai Lake this year is to get on the podium," Liu said.
Jiang was a third-place finisher on Stage 1 two years ago on the way to 42nd overall. Jiao can count a 20th place overall as his best result in four previous appearances and will see the race finish with a criterium in his hometown of Lanzhou.
Champion System General Manager Ed Beamon said Asia's first pro continental team is ready for what will be the longest edition of the race since it became part of the UCI Asia Tour in 2005.
"All four of our Chinese riders took a short break after our European campaign this spring and have been training and looking forward to our first race in their home country," he said. "We're coming off a reasonably successful Tour de Beauce where we put forth a good team effort and hope we can carry the momentum across to the Orient."
Champion System Pro Cycling Team Tour of Qinghai Roster:
Will Clarke (AUS), Kun Jiang (CHN), Pengda Jiao (CHN), Aaron Kemps (AUS), Biao Liu (CHN), Cameron Wurf (AUS), Gang XU (CHN).