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Tour de Singkarak offers prize, W Sumatra distinctive landscape

5th June 2011 | 3.393 Views

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Tour de Singkarak bike race with the participation of 234 cyclists including foreign teams of West Sumatra province from June 6 through 12, 2011, offers several things to the participants.

The organizing committee offered Rp750 million in prize money to the teams from 15 countries.

The prize for the winners of this year`s Tour de Singkarak, the third of its kind, is higher compared to those of the first and second with the total of only Rp600 million respectively.

According to Burhasman Bur, head of the West Sumatra provincial office of Culture and Tourism affairs, the total prize will be divided into seven stages of the event as it has been set by the Executive Board of the Indonesian Bicycle Association (PB. ISSI).

The prize will be divided into several categories, namely individual, sprint, uphill king, and team for Indonesian bikers and general bikers.

The 15 teams to take part in the event will come from Japan, China, Iran, the Philippines, Australia, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Britain, Taipei, New Zealand, Ireland, Russia, Kyrgistan, Spain and Indonesia, Sapta Nirwandar, the Culture and Tourism Ministry`s director general of marketing said in Jakarta recently.

The foreign teams are the Aisan Racing Team (Japan), Holy Brother Cycling Team (People`s Republic of China), Azad University and Tabritz Petrochemical Cycling Team (Iran), the Philippines (Eleven), Plan B Racing Team and Eddy Hollands Bicycle Services (Australia), Trengganu Pro Asia Cycling Team and Le Tua (Malaysia), Global Cycling Team (the Netherlands), Giant Kenda Cycling Team, Team Fuji, and Action Cycling Team (Taipei), and CCN Colossi comprising several states including New Zealand, Ireland, Russia, Kyrgistan, Spain and the United Kingdom.

In the meantime, Indonesia will be represented by 11 teams namely Araya Indonesia (Sidoarjo, East Java), Custom Cycling Club (Jakarta), Polygon Sweet Nice (Surabaya, East Java), Putra Perjuangan (Bandung, West Java), United Bike Kencana Team (Malang, East Java), Tirta Cycling Team (Solo) Binong Baru Passel (Cirebon, West Java), Jakarta province, Peng-ISSI (West Sumatra) and the Prima Utama and Prima Muda (Pelatnas Sea Games).

Meanwhile, the Central Java cycling coach Nur Rochman when contacted from Semarang on Saturday said the national training center will only send 12 cyclists who are divided into two teams, but some other cyclists who will join the event on behalf of their respective clubs.

Tour de Singkarak 2011 will cover a total of seven stages with a distance of 739.3 km through 12 districts/cities in West Sumatra starting from the city of Padang.

The event`s organizer said the cyclists will compete in the stages namely in Padang (Stage 1), Padang-Sicincin-Pariaman (Stage 2), Pariaman-Bukittinggi (Stage 3), Bukittinggi-Harau Valley (Stage 4), Payakumbuh-Sawahlunto (Stage 5), Sawahlunto-Istana Basa Pagaruyung (Stage 6A), Istana Basa Pagaruyung-Padang Panjang (Stage 6B), Padang Panjang, Danau Kembar (Twin Lakes (Stage 7A), and Danau Kembar-Danau Singkarak (Lake Singkarak (Stage 7B).

Burhasman Bur said that the winner at stages 1 to 5 individual categories will get Rp10 million, runner-up Rp4.5 million and third Rp2.5 million.

Apart from that, the fourth and fifth winners will get Rp1.5 million and one million rupiah each.

The champions for the six and seven grades will receive Rp700 thousand each, Bur said, adding that for the sprint, the cyclists will compete for a total prize of Rp2.7 million.

In addition, the riders who reached the finish until the sequence of 20, will also win a prize money ranging from Rp300 thousand to Rp800 thousand, he said.

In a bid to make the Tour de Singkarak a success, the Culture and Tourism ministry has invited the Amaury Sport Organization (ASO), from the Tour de France, to give inputs in carrying out the Tour de Singkarak.

"We hope that consultations with the ASO will make the international bike racing more popular," Sapta said.

ASO has a long experience in organizing international events like Tour de France, Paris Dakkar rally, and the Paris Marathon.

This international cycling event has been defined as a sports tourism destination in the country, Sapta said, noting that aside from the prize, Tour de Singkarak also offers what is locally called "Kelok 44" or road wotj 44 very sharp bends.

The "Kelok 44" only exists in West Sumatra and the only one in the world, Sapta cited.

People who has biking experience there said that Kelok 44 has the most challenging bends, Sapta said.

"Kelok 44" is located in Agam District which has cool air especially at night and in the morning.

Sapta Nirwandar also said that participants who managed to pass "Kelok 44" will get a special gift from the Agam district administration.

The tour participants will also look at the cultures of Minangkabau (precious call to the West Sumatra people).

In addition to the landscape and legacy of the Minangkabau people, it also has delicious food that could become an attraction to foreigners to come to West Sumatra.(*)