Tour of Bejing (9th October - 13th October)

Well since nobody has stepped up to create one and racing starts in a bit over 24 hrs I might as well have an attempt at my first ever race preview. Please be gentle

So pretty much the unwanted step child of the WT as far as the fans go we now have the tour of Beijing in it's 2nd year and personally I think they have done a much better job of making in interesting.
Out is the pancake flat stages with the opening ITT that determined the podium from start to finish.

While no real serious climbs there is enough variety to make for some interesting racing. With the top tier teams pretty much hanging up the cleats for the season it comes down to those at the bottom end of the UCI rankings to aim for a big result and ensure their place as pro-tour next year.
Unfortunately it appears that Argos will miss out on riding due to the political climate in china, a huge blow for them in what could have been a deciding factor in the final pro tour spot.

So what do we have in store.


Stage 1 | Tian An Men Square to Bird’s Nest Olympic Stadium 117km
Well it starts off looking very much like last year pancake flat stage to get the legs moving and a sure day for the sprinters


Stage 2 | Bird’s Nest to Men Tou Gou 134km
The first of the hills and while I see this all coming back together potential for a breakaway to catch the peloton napping. Main hill is only 10 km @ 5% so I don't see it making a selection that early. Another sprint finish.


Stage 3 | Men Tou Gou to Badaling Great Wall 162.5km
Probably the stage that could produce the most interesting racing, reminiscent of a Veulta stage from this year. With a much smaller Y axis. 10 km at 6.4% about half way to sap some strength then finishing in a uncategorised 20 km uphill with a 1km uphill sprint at 6% to the line. If it is raced hard possibility for this to be a race winning stage.


Stage 4 | Yan Qing to Chang Ping 165.5km
Another day for a sprint finish. A few bumps that will be hardly noticed then a flat race to the line.


Stage 5 | Chang Ping to Ping Gu 182.5km
The final stage and the chance for a small select group to get away with some time. The hill is only 5.4 at 6% but with it almost all downhill for the next 30 km a group working together could hold off the group if their in no clear chase. Although again most likely a sprint finish.



Riders of note:
Full teams have yet to be officially released but riders and teams of interest

Tony Martin is last years winner and back to defend but without a ITT don't see him in with much of a chance
Alessandro Petacchi bring another big name sprinter and fast finish for Lampre
Samuel Sanchez is racing for Euskaltel-Euskadi and hoping to improve on his crash marred season with victory here.
Ryder Hesjedal: Another big name to make the trip to China he will be looking for a good result overall. However Garmin also have Dan Martin as a backup and Henrich Haussler for the sprint finishes
Taylor Phinney is leading the BMC squad which is weak when you look at the roster they have.
Rinaldo Nocentini: leading the AG2R squad he will be aiming for a high overall finish to help boost is teams UCI point ranking
Movistar: are bring a strong roster including Amador & Rui Costa, Cobo, Visconti and Lastras as they also hunt for more world tour points
Daniele Bennati is the go to man for RSNT but much of the media attention has been focused on Andy Schleck who is here for training and recovery.
OGE have a team seemingly built for these sort of event with Simon Clarke looking for overall and Howard, Davis and Kroupis there for the sprints
EBH and Ben Swift fly the flag for Sky and with Dowsett and Sutton in support could put on a good show
Jeremy Roy & Anthony Roux will be looking for stage wins for FDJ rather than a focus on overall. A risky strategy for a team so far down the points table.
Greg Henderson will be leading the lotto sprint with the unstoppable Adam Hansen in support


With the changes made and the style of racing still being defined it really is anyone's race. An unexpected break could end up being a race winning move or it could come down to time bonuses in the intermediate sprints and the finish.
So hopefully I have sparked some interest so who do you think will step up and how do you think it will play out and what is your podium.
 
Jan 11, 2010
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Tigerion said:
Stage 2 | Bird’s Nest to Men Tou Gou 134km
The first of the hills and while I see this all coming back together potential for a breakaway to catch the peloton napping. Main hill is only 10 km @ 5% so I don't see it making a selection that early. Another sprint finish.
I think this stage has been changed, due to flooding. There's a different profile in the roadbook, looks sort of similar but with a main climb of 10.8 k @ 6.3 %.
 
Sep 20, 2011
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Tom-Jelte Slagter FTW!

I am so glad this race finally begins. Epic scenery, enthusiastic crowds and what not?
 
Could be a very interesting race if EBH gets yellow, then we'd see his 4(!) Sky teammates trying to defend the race lead. Of those 4, Puccio is the only half-decent climber. That could definitely result in a few succesful attacks...
 
Jun 1, 2012
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Its better than nothng i guess.. And atleast its in my time zone rather than staying up until 4am for most of the euro races :D

I would love for Samuel Sanchez to win or make the podium

Anyone know which TV networks will be broadcasting?
 
Aug 28, 2011
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Last minute changes have been made to the 2012 Tour of Beijing route after storm damage washed away a section of a key mountain road to be used for the second stage from the Bird’s Nest Stadium to Men Tou Gou.

The August storm, which saw a month’s rain fall in a single evening, prompted immediate action from event organisers with the stage re-routed and finalised for the race roadbook.

Previously designed as a punchy 134km route with four climbs, the second stage will now feature three categorised climbs but with a longer and higher principal climb. The distance has been slightly reduced to 126km.

The stage update was one of a number of key outcomes from the most recent visit to China by Global Cycling Promotion, which evidenced the progression by the local organising committee and further growth of cycling amongst the Chinese public since the inaugural event in 2011.
 
bangnz said:
Its better than nothng i guess.. And atleast its in my time zone rather than staying up until 4am for most of the euro races :D

I would love for Samuel Sanchez to win or make the podium

Anyone know which TV networks will be broadcasting?
I would love for Samu to win but really some sprinter may get away with more bonus points and take it.
 
Jun 11, 2011
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if the riders had any balls (or morals) they would sit down in Tian An Men square on stage one and not race. F China and what they did to their students there.
 
Sep 7, 2010
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Oh CobbleStoner, how about not going to work tomorrow as a protest against all those crimes done in China?
 
Saddly, there wouldn't be much countries left to race, if you took that kind of political approach.
Of course the race is crap but it would be asked too much if you excpect the riders to some how show political protest, imo.
 
Aug 16, 2011
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maltiv said:
The level of air pollution is currently extremely high, apparently there's a chance the entire race will be cancelled.

It should be against UCI rules to make riders race in those conditions :mad:.
 
Afrank said:
It should be against UCI rules to make riders race in those conditions :mad:.
Indeed. The officials say that "healthy individuals should avoid outdoor activities" in such conditions. Yet the cyclists will have to race their bikes for several hours a day for 5 days in a row. What a farce this race is...
 
I just realised that I didn't put any predictions in when I opened the thread.

IF the race starts I'm going with
1. Haussler
2. EBH
3. Unknown breakaway survivor who holds on at the end (Katusha young gun)
 
Jan 11, 2010
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maltiv said:
Indeed. The officials say that "healthy individuals should avoid outdoor activities" in such conditions. Yet the cyclists will have to race their bikes for several hours a day for 5 days in a row. What a farce this race is...
It was the same last year. More importantly, it was the same during the Olympics. Where a lot of healthy individuals performed outdoor activities every day ;)
 
Aug 16, 2011
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theyoungest said:
It was the same last year. More importantly, it was the same during the Olympics. Where a lot of healthy individuals performed outdoor activities every day ;)
At the Olympics they took precautions months before to reduce the smog levels. And just because you can perform outdoor activities in the smog doesn't mean its good for you.
 
Jun 11, 2011
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oboy77 said:
Oh CobbleStoner, how about not going to work tomorrow as a protest against all those crimes done in China?
if my job forced me to go to China's Tian An Men square, I would protest instead of work. some things in life are bigger than the sport
 

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