Champion System's Chinese Riders Enjoying Hometown Experience
The Champion System Pro Cycling Team lodged its best finish so far at the Tour of Beijing when Clinton Avery finished 25th on Stage 4 on the race's second-to-last day.
Pendga Jiao took home Best Chinese Rider honors in the 165.5-kilometer race with his 28th place finish, just behind teammates Clinton Avery (25th) and Aaron Kemps (26th). Chris Butler remains the Champion System Pro Cycling Team's leader on the overall classification (27th overall, 3:31 behind) to go along with his fifth place in the best young rider classification.
Two of the Champion System's four Chinese riders on Asia's first pro continental team said they are enjoying racing at home. But the first four days of the race have been a bit of an up-and-down experience, they said.
Kun Jiang, who finished 117th in last year's inaugural edition while riding for the Chinese national team, noted that this year's course has been more difficult and the racing is much more aggressive, too.
"It's been good for me so far but I've done more track training for my provincial team, the Yunnan team recently," he said. "So I'm a bit concerned on the fast downhills. I'm very happy and proud to see our team is being very strong and performing well together. Like yesterday, Pengda finished 44th, which was really good to see. I want to learn and gain more experience in races like this."
Biao Lu, who competed for the team halfway around the world in August at the USA Pro Challenge in the United States, broke into a bright smile when asked if he had been enjoying himself.
"For some parts, yes," he said. "And for some other parts, I have suffered."
Saturday's final stage is the longest of the race at 182.5 kilometers featuring four categorized climbs. Defending champion Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) continues to hold the overall lead. Marco Haller (Katusha Team) won Friday's stage.