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Jakarta Post

Cyclists from 24 countries to race in Tour de Singkarak

  • Syofiardi Bachyul Jb

    The Jakarta Post

Padang   /   Sat, June 1, 2013   /  04:22 pm

Hundreds of cyclists from 24 countries, including host country Indonesia, will compete in the fifth Tour de Singkarak race across West Sumatra province from June 2 to June 9.

The cyclists will be vying for a total of Rp 1.2 billion (US$122,422) in prize money.

Deputy director for West Sumatra'€™s tourism destination promotion, Raseno Arya, said this year 20 teams '€” six of them from Indonesia '€” would enter cyclists at the annual event.

'€œThe number of teams participating in the event slightly decreased from 23 teams last year. It'€™s due to the selection by the Indonesian Cycling Association [PB ISI] and the International Cycling Union [UCI], which picked them out of the 40 teams registered for this year'€™s race,'€ he said during a press conference in Padang on Friday.

The organizers, Raseno added, were issuing the competitors an extra challenge, with more than a 1,000 kilometer route passing through 17 out of a total of 19 cities and districts in West Sumatra.

'€œOnly West Pasaman regency and Mentawai Island aren'€™t included in the route,'€ he said.

The race will be divided into seven stages starting from Bukittinggi to Equator in Bonjol, Pasaman regency (104 kilometer) for stage 1, followed by the 124.5-km stage from Payakumbuh to Lake Singkarak, Solok regency on the second day.

Stage 3 of the race will begin in Padangpanjang and head to Basa Pagaruyung Palace, Tanahdatar regency (208 km) on Tuesday, followed by the 189.5 km route of stage 4 from Sijunjung regency to Punjung Island, Dharmasraya regency, the following day.

Stage 5 will see a 144.5 km route from Sawahlunto to Muaralabuh, South Solok regency on Thursday before a rest day on Friday. The race will resume with stage 6'€™s 144.5 km route from Pariaman to Painan, South Pesisir regency on Saturday before the 143.5 km final stage from Padangpariaman to Padang circuit on Sunday.

West Sumatra Deputy Governor Muslim Kasim said the Tour de Singkarak event was a sport and tourism event that would keep improving each year.

'€œLast year the most challenging route was the steep kelok 44 [44 turns] in Maninjau Lake. This year, the challenge will change at the sembilan (ninth) turn,'€ he said.

Aside from the race, the event will also offer the province'€™s scenery throughout the route and cultural, culinary and historical attractions in every regency and district.

'€œThere will be a banquet for all participants at the Seribu Rumah Gadang traditional house in Muara Labuh, South Solok,'€ Muslim said.

Spanish rider Pujol Munoz Oscar won last year'€™s race.