International cycling race kicks off in north China

SHIJIAZHUANG, China, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- A three-day international cycling race kicked off on Monday in Xingtai, in north China's Hebei province. Cima Damiano, an Italian cyclist racing for Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini, won the first stage of the race.

On the first race day, 142 professional cyclists from 24 teams competed along a 123-kilometer route. Damiano won by clocking in a time of 2:57:48. Second place went to Castillo Soto Ulises Alfredo of Jelly Belly P/B Maxxis. Trosino Mirko from Albania's Amore & Vita-Prodir racing team took bronze.

Categorized into professional and amateur groups, nearly 600 cyclists from Europe and Asia compete in the three-day race that has 40,000 U.S. dollars in total prize money.

On the second day, professional cyclists will compete on an 125-kilometer route.