The Champion System Pro Cycling Team has accepted an invitation to participate in the Tour of Beijing. The appearance will be the first in a WorldTour calendar event for Asia's first pro continental team.
"As a first-year team, and the first UCI Asian pro continental team, we are extremely excited to be given this opportunity," Champion System Executive Manager Louis Shih said. "The long term goal for our team, and especially for our Chinese and Asian riders, is to be competitive in the Grand Tours. Being invited to the Tour of Beijing is certainly a major step toward realizing our goal."
Champion System General Manager Ed Beamon thanked race organizer Global Cycling Promotion (GCP) and the Tour of Beijing's local organizing committee for the race for helping the team achieve an important goal.
"One of the primary reasons the team was formed was to be able to bring China’s top cycling talents together to represent their country and their provinces in Asia’s most prestigious event and eventually in the biggest competitions around the world," Beamon said. "We are grateful for the diligent work and cooperation between the GCP and the local organizing committee that has enabled the Champion System Pro Cycling team to compete in the Tour of Beijing."
In its first season, the team has achieved a number of milestones, including stage wins at the Tour of Japan and Tour de Beauce and participation in some of the most high-profile races in Europe (Het Nieuwsblad, Scheldeprijs and the Giro del Trentino) Asia (Tour of Qatar, Tour of Oman, Tour de Langkawi and the Tour of Qinghai Lake) and North America (Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah and the USA Pro Challenge).
Most recently, Champion System's Gang Xu won the Chinese national road title. Beamon said Xu will debut his new jersey at the Tour of Beijing and be joined by three other Chinese riders: Kun Jiang, Pengda Jiao and Biao Liu. Tour de Beauce stage winner Craig Lewis and BaseCamp International race presented by Verizon Wireless champion Clinton Avery will be part of the eight-man roster along with Chris Butler, who competed in the inaugural Tour of Beijing last year.
Champion System Pro Cycling Team Tour of Beijing Roster:
Clinton Avery (NZL), Chris Butler (USA), Kun Jiang (CHN), Pengda Jiao (CHN), Craig Lewis (USA), Aaron Kemps (AUS), Biao Liu (CHN), Gang Xu (CHN)