Liu Peng (R) presents a set of Olympic mascots to the UCI chief as a gift.
On April 24, 2007, Patrick McQuaid, President of the International Cycling Union (UCI), paid a visit to Liu Peng, Director of the General Administration of Sport of China (GASC), at the GASC Headquarters in Beijing.
Patrick McQuaid, who is in Beijing to attend the 2007 SportAccord Convention, told his Chinese host that he is working with the UCI and some Chinese friends to promote the launch of the Tour of China.
As a world-renowned cycling race with a history of over 100 years, Tour de France has attracted the attention of millions of sports fans from across the world. Through this annual event many people have come to know the beautiful scenery and places of historic interest of France. "We do hope to launch a Tour of China in China," said Patrick McQuaid, adding that the UCI also plans to put a new track cycling competition in China from 2008 to 2012.
Liu Peng gave his support to the UCI chief, noting that the sport of cycling has good foundations in China, where bicycle is a fundamental means of transportation. He added that the new velodrome built for the 2008 Olympics will serve as a first-rate venue for the new UCI track cycling competition.
The two sides agreed to introduce more high-level cycling races while continuing to protect the Tour of Hainan Road Cycling Race and Tour of Qinghai Lake as well as the BMX race held in Shanxi Province, which have been well received among cyclists and fans.
Attending the meeting were Cai Jiadong, Director of the Cycling and Fencing Administrative Center, and Song Luzeng, deputy head of the GASC External Affairs Department and deputy secretary-general of the Chinese Olympic Committee.