History

The Marco Polo Cycling Club was founded in 2000 and named after the famous traveller, Marco Polo. The mission and goals of the club were, and still are, to provide talented cyclists from non-traditional cycling countries -often not the richest countries in the world- an opportunity to develop into world-class professionals.

Not long after the creation of the Marco Polo Cycling club a semi-professional team was started to stay true to its original mission. In the short time that the Marco Polo Cycling Team has been in existence, the team has raced all over the world and won many stages, stage races and classifications in countries such as: China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Morocco, Burkina Faso, and South-Korea and was also successful in race in Western Europe.

In 2004, Marco Polo Cycling signed a contract with the Chinese Cycling Association in an effort to recruit, train and prepare the best Chinese rider for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

In 2006, Fuyu Li from the Marco Polo Cycling Team won the All China Games, Tour of Thailand as well as numerous races throughout Europe. His hard work and success resulted in a contract with the Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team for 2007, making him the first ever Chinese rider to race at the sports elite level, the UCI Pro Tour.

Upon signing Li with Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team, well known for their 7 Tour de France wins by Lance Armstrong. A partnership between the two Teams was created, resulting in the formation of the 2007 Discovery Channel Marco Polo Team. Fuyu Li qualified China for a spot in the Beijing 2008 Olympic road race.

In 2008 a partnership with GE, one of the largest companies in the world, saw the GE – Marco Polo Cycling Team competing with the world’s best in the Tour de Georgia (USA) and the Tour of Qinghai Lake (China). In 2010 the Herbalife – Marco Polo Cycling Team made it’s debut in the highly ranked Tour de Langkawi in Malaysia.

In 2012 the Marco Polo Cycling Team signed an agreement with the Ethiopian Cycling Federation and became the first Ethiopian Pro Cycling Team.

After a pause the Marco Polo Cycling Team will return in the peloton in 2016 with the NER Group Marco Polo Cycling Team for refugees. A cycling team for the most talented cyclists among the refugees in Europe.

Best results in the past from Marco Polo Cycling Team:

Marco Polo Cycling Team

Overall winner “Tour du Maroc”

Overall winner “Qinghai-Tibet” (China)

Overall winner “Pahang Cycle Challenge” (Malaysia)

Overall winner “Tour du Faso” (Burkina Faso, Africa) 2 times

Overall winner “Tour de Beijing” (China)

Overall winner “Tour de Korea”

Overall winner “Tour de Sri Lanka”

Overall winner “Dji Sam Soe Tour d’Indonesia”

Overall winner “Tour of Siam” (Thailand)

Overall winner “Tour de Thailand”

1st Team GC – Tour of Siam (Thailand)

2nd GC Tour of Qinghai Lake (China)

2nd GC Tour of Japan

3rd individual GC Tour of Siam (Thailand)

3rd GC Tour de Hokkaido (Japan)

3rd GC Tour de Korea

3rd GC Tour of East Java (Indonesia)

5th GC Tour of Qatar

Nederlands:

Marco Polo Cycling werd in 2000 opgericht, met als missie het bieden van kansen aan wielrenners uit niet-traditionele wielerlanden.
Het Marco Polo Cycling Team bestond 10 jaar (2003-2012) als UCI-geregistreerd team op het derde niveau (Continental Team), dit in eerste instantie in Hong Kong, daarna jaren in China en het laatste jaar van haar bestaan in Ethiopië.
De aan Marco Polo Cycling gelieerde Bike4All Stichting is nog altijd actief in Ethiopië, om de ontwikkeling van wielersport daar te ondersteunen.
Via het Marco Polo Cycling Team haalde een tiental renners het hoogste niveau in het wielrennen en een tiental anderen wist full professional te worden (nog) zonder op World Tour niveau actief te zijn. De meesten van hen afkomstig uit Afrika en Azië, maar ook Nederlander Maarten Tjallingii hoort daar bijvoorbeeld bij. Ervaren renners als Léon van Bon, Matthé Pronk en Jan Kuyckx droegen hun ervaring over op de buitenlandse renners in het team. Marco Polo Cycling was het Aziatische satellietteam van Discovery Channel en werkte daarnaast met grote bedrijven als GE, Herbalife en Trek als sponsors.