PARIS, June 25 (Xinhua) -- Chinese cycling fans will have their own rider to root for when Ji Cheng will become the first Chinese to race in the Tour de France.
Ji, 26, was included Wednesday in Dutch team Giant-Shimano's nine-rider lineup the 101st edition of the Tour that starts July 5 in Leeds, England.
He will be part of Giant-Shimano's sprint formations attempting to deliver Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb to stage victories.
Ji, from China's northern city Harbin, turned from track and field to cycling when he was 15. He began his professional career in 2007 when he joined Shimano.
Ji was the first Chinese rider to compete in a Grand Tour race when he finished the 2012 Vuelta a Espana. Last year, he became the first to start the prestigious Giro d'Italia.
Giant-Shimano coach Rudi Kemna said riding the Tour "will be huge for him and his country, and we look forward to seeing the impact this has on the globalization of the sport."