Sun Hung Kai executive Adam Kwok out to unearth world-class cyclists from China and Hong Kong
The avid cycling fan is sponsoring a programme to develop mainland and local riders so they can one day compete in major races on the World Tour
Avid cycling fan Adam Kwok Kai-fai is determined to help Hong Kong and China produce a world-class cyclist who can succeed on the global stage – and he hopes it can start with his support of the Chinese UCI Continental team Mitchelton-BikeExchange and in partnership with Australia’s GreenEdge Cycling.
Kwok, executive director of Sun Hung Kai Properties, has announced a sponsorship and partnership agreement with GreenEDGE in support of Mitchelton-BikeExchange to identify and nurture talent in China and Hong Kong.
“From our initial meetings, I could see that we had a shared vision of what China and its athletes could one day achieve in the world of cycling. One needs to look no further than the miracle story of Hong Kong in producing multiple track world champions from such a small city to see what can be achieved in the road ahead,” said Kwok.
“My support stems from this vision and I hope to be able to help future generations of cycling talent in China and of course including my home city Hong Kong, a country yet to have a UCI WorldTour level contender and national hero on the world stage.”
Hong Kong national coach Shen Jinkang will work with GreenEDGE boss Shayne Bannan to develop cyclists. Bannan is a former high-performance director for cycling at the Australian Institute of Sport, and his team, GreenEDGE is Asia Pacific’s first and only World Tour professional cycling team.
Mitchelton-BikeExchange is GreenEDGE’s Chinese-registered team.
“Mr Bannan has world-class experience in coaching, developing and nurturing athletes. It gives me much confidence the same can happen to our Chinese athletes in the team,” said Kwok.
“There’s a lot to be done, a lot of dreams to work hard on and I’m pleased to be part of this very exciting project to forge a path forward.”
The programme sets out a four-year plan that targets at least two Chinese cyclists taking part in major races on the World Tour, such as the Tour de France.
The 10-strong Mitchelton-BikeExchange team were in Hong Kong for the sponsorship announcement. The team comprise: Bi Wenhui, Bieken Nazaerbieke, Jiang Zhihui, Liu Jiankun, Niu Yikui, Xue Fuwen, Sun Xiaolong (all China), Jacob Hennessy (Great Britain), Harrison Sweeny and
Callum Scotson (both Australia).
The team hope to sign up a Hong Kong rider in the near future.
“We are especially pleased to welcome Mr Kwok for the 2018 season,” said Bannan. “Whilst we are excited about the value he saw in our efforts with our Chinese-registered team over the past 12 months, we are even more buoyed by his passion and the potential he sees in the region.
“We believe it is the beginning of a fruitful partnership that will play a major role in bringing China and the world of cycling closer together.”