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Hong Kong to host top-flight international cycling race to cap annual festival

Record 4,900 people also sign up for October 8 cyclothon events

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 26 September, 2017, 6:06pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 September, 2017, 4:17pm

For the first time, Hong Kong will host a top-flight international cycling competition early next month alongside the city’s third annual cyclothon.

One hundred elite cyclists from around the world will participate in the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Class 1.1 road race on October 8. The race will cap the one-day cycling festival.

A record 4,900 people signed up for a variety of festival events, which are open to the public. They include a 50km race starting and ending on Salisbury Road in Tsim Sha Tsui whose route traverses three bridges, including Tsing Ma Bridge in Tsing Yi, and three tunnels.

The professional points race features a closed-circuit 100km route. Comprising 20 laps, the race winds through Salisbury Road, Mody Road, Science Museum Road and the Hung Hom Bypass.

“We’re glad that we’ve met the strict standards set by the UCI on the number of international judges and types of taking part teams to qualify for a UCI 1.1 race,” Tourism Board general manager Mason Hung Chung-hing said.

The UCI race will host international teams such as Australia-based Orica-Scott – ranked seventh globally – as well as well-known local athletes Wong Kam-po and Daniel Lee Chi-wo.

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The organiser encouraged drivers and commuters to allow extra time for their journeys on the day, as more than 30 roads and motorways will be closed for the races.

Sections of Salisbury Road and Mody Road in Tsim Sha Tsui and Eagle’s Nest Tunnel heading towards Sha Tin will be among the first thoroughfares to be blocked off. The Jordan Road flyover and Austin Road West heading west will also be closed early.

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All road closures are expected to be lifted by 6pm.

Citing safety, the organiser warned against stopping or decelerating midway for photos and selfies during any race and will set up multiple checkpoints along the routes. Participants who fail to reach them at designated times will be required to quit the race.