Mainlanders gear up for 2008 Games

PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 January, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 03 January, 2005, 12:00am

Four mainland riders have signed up with the first Chinese professional cycling team to soak up experience and learn from more seasoned international riders before they prepare for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, say officials with the Marco Polo team.

Yu Tong, Li Fuyu, Yu Chengguang and Xu Gang have become the newest members of the team, who have signed an agreement with the China Cycling Association and the World Wide Cycling Foundation with a contract running to the end of 2008.

The aim is to help the Chinese riders, whose ages range in age from 19 to 26, reach international pro-level before the Games.

The team have also signed Hong Kong's Leung Chi-yan and international cyclists American Michael Carter, New Zealander Robin Reid, Dutchmen Maarten Tjallingii and Rene van Oord, Australians Rhys Pollock and Eddy Hollands and Mongolian Jamsran Ulzii-Orshikh.

'The international riders are there to make the team base strong and bring experience and stability. The Chinese riders are in the team to gain experience for international competition,' said Gudo Kramer, manager of the Marco Polo team.