The Champion System Pro Cycling Team was looking ahead to Thursday's finishing climb up the Badaling Great Wall after getting a good dose of climbing on Stage 3 Wednesday at the Tour of Beijing.
The Badaling Great Wall, a worldly famous wonder and national cultural relic, is also well-known to the team, having used it for training in its pre-season camp in January. It will be the last of four categorized climbs on Thursday's 162.5-kilometer stage.
"I think it's going to be tough," Champion System General Manager Ed Beamon said. "But it will be a little bit more controlled with Omega Pharma-Quick Step (team of new race leader Tony Martin) in control. The fact that it's a little more controlled might give us an opportunity to get someone free and out in front and onto those climbs in front of the group."
In Wednesday's stage, the Champion System Pro Cycling Team had Kun Jiang earn a two-second time bonus by taking second in the first intermediate sprint, 22 km into the 126 km race. But ultimately it was teammate Gang Xu who earned the "Best Chinese Rider" award for his 104th place finish.
"The idea was to try and get in the early break and then go for either the King of the Mountain points or the sprints," Beamon said.
The only disappointment of the first stage in the mountains, Beamon said, was the team's inability to get anyone in the five-man breakaway that went up the road after 34 kilometers. And no one was in the first or second group when the race topped the first of three climbs.
"It wasn't a super hard climb, but they rode it real fast," Beamon said. "It caught us – and a lot of guys – on our heels a little bit."
Martin attacked from a small group and soloed to the stage win and into the leader's red jersey while Chris Butler's 36th-place finish on the day was best for Champion System. He is also best-placed for the team overall, in 50th.