The third edition of the Shanghai Criterium took place on Saturday, November 16th. The best riders of the Tour de France have set off alongside the elite of Chinese cycling on a course of 61.2 km.
On the side of the road, an audience of enthusiasts came to applaud them. "For Chinese cycling fans, this event is truly one of the most anticipated of the year!", Explains a spectator. "I've never had the opportunity to go to France on the Tour, so seeing my favorite riders here in China makes me so happy!" Says another lover of the little queen.
For the organizers, this race is a way to promote the brand of the Tour de France in China, while professional cycling is only in its infancy in the country. But things could change quickly. "I understand that there is a strong desire to develop cycling, why both as a sport and to ensure and develop soft mobility to make life better in China. today in a harmonious way and I believe that now, as the political will is there, the development will be fast ", estimates Yann Le Moënner, general manager of Amaury Sport Organization.
To captivate the public, headliners made the trip: the Italian Vincenzo Nibali, winner of the tour in 2014 and especially, the last yellow jersey of the last edition, the Colombian Egan Bernal. Despite the absence of sporting stakes, he wanted to be present: "I believe that by bringing races like these in China, to bring the yellow jersey, it can start to motivate and give birth to the love of cycling. and in a few years we may be able to see more Chinese riders on the Tour de France! "
In China, professional cycling still has some way to go. The only Chinese in history to finish the Tour finished in last place in the standings.
Australia's Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) won the race by beating Italy's Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) and Dutchman Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) . He succeeds to the list of Slovak Peter Sagan. British Chris Froome, a four-time winner of the Tour de France, won the first edition in 2017.