Politics Keeps Argos Shimano Team Out of China
BEIJING, China – The political problems between China and Japan over the sovereignty of the East China Sea islands has reached the bicycle industry. The Dutch Pro Continental cycling team Argos-Shimano will not ride the Tour of Beijing.
Team manager Iwan Spekenbrink stated that the decision to withdraw from the Tour of Beijing was the result of the political problems, but had nothing to do with the co-sponsor Shimano or the Japanese team rider Yukihiro Doi.
The Tour of Beijing is co-organized by Global Cycling Promotion, which is owned by the UCI. Global Cycling Promotion and the local organizing committee of the Tour of Beijing discussed with Team Argos-Shimano the option of not participating in the Tour of Beijing. “Due to the current circumstances, the team accepted to withdraw from the race”, said the statement of the team.
Argos-Shimano had been given a wild-card invitation to the Tour of Beijing thanks to the success in sprints of John Degenkolb and Marcel Kittel, but also because it has Cheng in its team, one of the few Chinese riders in the professional peloton.
The Tour of Beijing has been scheduled from October 9-13.