From June 12th to 16th, Mitchelton-BikeExchange will race for the first time in South Korea at the UCI 2.1 level race. The five-day tour will be the third race of the season for the team following on from the Tour of Langkawi and Tour of Taiyuan.
After promising performances recently at the Tour of Taiyuan, the small but powerful four-rider squad are hoping to build on their progression made in the sprint stages with Niu Yikui, whilst New Zealander James Oram looks for a high general classification.
The five stages at the Tour of Korea cover a mixture of terrain, with the first and fifth stages raced around flat laps, while the other three stages are slightly more up and down on hillier terrain, with an uphill finish at end of the fourth stage.
With a total of 20 participating teams including three intercontinental professional teams, it is a varied and strong start list for the five-day Korean Tour.
Mitchelton-BikeExchange Tour of Korea line-up:
Bi Wenhui (China, 26)
Liu Jiankun (China, 23)
Niu Yikui (China, 24)
James Olam (New Zealand, 25)
“We did some good training in Korea in the past few days, and I think I have been continuously improved my form during this time. My goal is to get as many UCI points as possible in the flat stages, and even try to win a stage.
“Although the flat stages look pretty easy on the map, the race will be very aggressive, so it won’t be easy to get the result we want, but we will try our best.”
Andrew Smith – Sport Director
“The team has spent a good week in Korea, recovering from the Tour of Taiyuan and preparing for Tour de Korea, where we`ve been able to recon some of the critical parts of stages three and four.
“Unfortunately, we will only be able to start with four-riders due to some visa problems, but the team is positive and ready to go. Niu Yikui has showed some good progression in Taiyuan and we will try and support him in the sprint stages to continue building on this.
“In the hillier stages three and four we will support James Oram who`s aiming for a stage podium and potential top ten on general classification.”
Tour of Korea:
Wednesday, 12th June: Stage 1, 63km
Thursday, 13th June: Stage 2, 161km
Friday, 14th June: Stage 3, 173km
Saturday, 15th June: Stage 4, 127km
Sunday, 16th June: Stage 5, 65km