The 2014 UCI WorldTour season will draw to a close in Beijing, with the fourth edition of the Chinese race rolling out on Friday October 10.
And though the pre-race build-up has been dominated by the riders who will not take the start line, those who do start will have still plenty to fight for.
Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) will not ride acccording to his team, following an injury picked up in a crash at Il Lombardia, meaning Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) has been crowned world number one ahead of the final race and has also pulled out.
Joining the two Spaniards on the sideline will be the entire Astana team, who have withdrawn themselves from competition in line with guidelines from the Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC).
Astana are MPCC members and so after Maxim Iglinskiy’s positive test for EPO last week, just three weeks after his brother Valentin also failed a doping test for the same reason, has led to the Kazakh team voluntarily removing themselves from the start list.
With a hillier route unveiled for what will be the final edition of the WorldTour’s only current stop in Asia – the race has been removed from next year’s WorldTour calendar – those who do roll out of Chongli will have plenty to battle for however.
Keen to end their respective seasons on a high, or bid farewell to teams and/or careers in style, plenty of big-name riders are bound for China.
So where will the race be won, and which riders should be watched carefully?
Read our in-depth preview over the following pages.