Richie Porte is well up for the Tour of Beijing

Well up for it. WELL up for it.

“It’s been a long season and the legs are tired. I’m here because the team want me here, because the points are tight.”

That’s a rabble-rousing statement of intent if ever I heard one.

Thor Hushovd is the race leader after winning stage one, taking a 10 second time bonus. He too emphasised his utter determination to do well in this race.

“It’s a good win. I’m a little surprised as I had a hard couple of weeks after the Worlds finding the motivation.”

He’ll have to beat defending champion Tony Martin though and he clearly has his heart set on a third successive win:

“To be honest the parcours this year is not really for me.”

Let battle commence.