BEIJING, Oct. 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- On October 19, 2017 GREE-Tour of Guangxi kicked off at the Beach Park, Beihai City, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China. Eighteen top cycling teams worldwide including Team Sky (U.K.), Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team (Bahrain) and BMC Racing Team (U.S.) ushered in their last battle of UCI World Tour.
GREE "UCI World Tour ·Tour of Guangxi", the world's top class cycling race, is authorized by Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), and organized by the People's Government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Dalian Wanda Group. The Tour of Guangxi comprises six stages with a total length of 940km, stretching across five cities of Beihai, Qinzhou, Nanning, Liuzhou and Guilin.
Huang Weijing, Vice-Chairman of the People's Government of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Yang Hengming, President of Wanda Sports Group, and Tom Van Damme, Chairman of UCI Bicycle Council, local government officials and representatives of sponsors, presented at the opening ceremony and participated in the "Honorable Cycling".
Vice Chairman Huang Weijing noted in his speech that Tour of Guangxi is the top level sports event ever held in Guangxi. "It is of great significance for enriching people's sports lifestyle, promoting public health, presenting Guangxi's natural and urban scenes as well as extending cooperation opportunities of Guangxi. I Hope the Tour of Guangxi can present to the world a top-level and fantastic global cycling event, equipped with high standard such as celebrity presence, top-class racing track, exciting game and beautiful landscape. The event will surely leave an impressive mark in cycling history and bridge a new platform for delivering and enhancing amity, as well as expanding communication and cooperation with the world," he said.
"It is very important for the cycling development worldwide that UCI World Tour has been brought to Guangxi, the UCI appreciates the adequate preparation made by the People's Government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Wanda Group", said Tom Van Damme.
Wanda Sports President Yang Hengming noted that "UCI World Tour · Tour of Guangxi" is of great significance for the development of cycling sports in China, and that Wanda and the People's Government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region will make joint efforts together with UCI to build "UCI World Tour · Tour of Guangxi" an internationally renowned cycling race brand.
At the opening ceremony, the champion cup and four-color honorable jersey also made their appearance. 126 top cyclists attended 2017 GREE-Tour of Guangxi, including Michael Matthews, the best sprinter of Tour de France this year, Mikel Landa, the best climber of 2017 Giro d'Italia, Fernando Gaviria, the new best sprinter of Giro d'Italia, Caleb Ewan, the main sprinter of ORICA-Scott. It is worth mentioning that, as the only local cyclist, Chinese cyclist Wang Meiyin also attended "UCI World Tour · Tour of Guangxi" for Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team.
The opening race of 2017 GREE-Tour of Guangxi in Beihai Stage is criterium with a total length of 107.4km. This stage is set with two climbing points and 3 sprinting points; it starts from and ends at Beach Park, and gets across such famous scenic spots in Beihai as Beihai EXPO, Gaode Bridge and Guantou Hill Park. Such TVs and Internet media as CCTV Sports, GXTV, Travel Channel, Tencent and Toutiao will broadcast the race. Audiences can also appreciate the beautiful scenery of the semitropical coastal city while enjoying the world-class cycling race.
Beihai is a famous historic and cultural city in Guangxi, and houses such national tourist attractions as Silver Beach, Weizhou Island, Beihai Old Street, Xingdao Lake, and Shankou Mangrove Forest. Moreover, Beihai is also built with deep water ports, all-weather airports, as well as convenient high speed railways and expressways, offering convenient traffic and pleasant environment for living and travel. Beihai, the start point of 2017 GREE-Tour of Guangxi, has been rated as Top 10 Livable Cities in China for consecutive years.