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Tour De France Beijing To Grow Cycling Culture
Oct 25, 2018

More than 2,000 cycling enthusiasts raced in Beijing's first ever Tour de France-class event on Sunday, as the world's most prestigious cycling tour enters its second year in China after inaugural races in Shanghai and Changsha last year.

L'Étape Beijing by Le Tour de France, a challenge race for amateur cyclists, got world attention as it was charted along the Yanxi lakeside in suburban Beijing's Huairou District, where APEC leaders met in 2014. Tour de France champion Andy Schleck joined the races, while Taiwan actor Ethan Juan served as ambassador for the China events and kicked off the race.

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China Criterium, the second leg of the China events and race for professional cyclists, will be in the downtown area of Shanghai covering landmarks and skylines of the city in November.

Chris Froome, a four-time winner of the Tour de France, won the 2017 China Criterium in Shanghai.

Activation, which landed China's first La Liga club in 2016, was cautious about its import of more top world sporting events into the Chinese market. "To grow a sport is more than just to organize to compete. We need to grow the culture of the sport, building sport-themed areas," said Zhou.

Yang Lin, general manager of Guo'an Sport, a Beijing-based sports organizing and marketing group and organizer of the Beijing race, said Guo'an will further build cycling at all levels and grow the cycling culture together with fashion and tourism.

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