Hong Kong's Lam Kai-chun grabbed the pink jersey as the best Chinese rider after the opening leg of the Tour of Hong Kong Shanghai yesterday, then promptly quit the competition to concentrate on his studies. Lam, a former Hong Kong international who now rides for the CMS team, finished sixth in the 38km opening stage at Chai Wan but has decided not to continue the rest of the tour. 'My studies in the Yi Jin project have just started and I cannot afford taking a week-long break to join the rest of the tour,' said the 23-year-old, who quit the Hong Kong team in the summer because of his desire to earn an academic qualification. The Yi Jin project consists of career-oriented courses outside the mainstream curriculum. 'I really enjoyed today's race so it's disappointing that I won't be continuing,' Lam added. 'But I have no regrets about quitting full-time training with the Hong Kong team because I want to focus on my studies at this stage. Who knows what will happen in the future, maybe I'll rejoin the Hong Kong team one day.' Wu Kin-san, who leads the team in the absence of star rider Wong Kam-po, said Lam would always be welcome to rejoin the side. 'We were good partners and of course it would be good to see him back,' said Wu, who came 13th yesterday. The opening stage was won by Christoff van Heerden of South Africa's Konica/Minolta team. Van Heerden's teammate, Adam Blythe came second, while Kim Nielsen of Denmark's Glud and Marstrand Horsens team was third. Van Heerden also won yesterday's special sprint stage. He is confident of doing well in the six remaining race stages across southern China. 'We have a strong team here and if we can stay together in the remaining stages, we should record some good results,' said Van Heerden, who held the yellow jersey for three days in the Tour of Pennsylvania in July. The tour goes into China today with a 101.4km road race in Ganzhou, Jiangxi province.