On Tuesday the International Cycling Union granted a WorldTour license to the Tour of Beijing, paving the way for the October event to become the first-ever UCI tour race held in Asia. The Tour of Beijing also becomes the 27th event on the UCI WorldTour calendar and only the fourth Tour race held outside Europe. Gaining WorldTour status essentially guarantees the participation of ProTour teams like RadioShack and will likely increase cycling's exposure in the world's most populous nation. "Cycling in China, in particular, is currently experiencing very impressive development: after the 2008 Olympic Games, the popularity of road racing has just grown and grown," said Pat McQuaid, UCI President. McQuaid has pushed to expand cycling's worldwide appeal since he became UCI president in 2005.
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