W Sumatra set for Ninth Tour de Singkarak

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - West Sumatra Province is ready for the implementation of the Ninth Tour de Singkarak (TdS) cycling race, which will take place from Nov 18 to 26, 2017.

Some 230 cyclists, grouped in 20 domestic and foreign cycling teams from 30 countries, will participate in the sports tourism event.

Part of the Union Cycliste Internationale race series, the TdS will involve 18 of the total 19 districts and cities of the province.

The TdS, themed "The Biggest Sport Tourism" and part of a tourism promotion initiative, will be divided into nine stages, covering a total distance of 1,150 kilometers.

The grand start will be from Tanah Datar District and the grand final in Bukittinggi.

The first stage is Istano Basa Pagaruyung-Padang covering 109.3 kilometers on Nov 18; the second stage, South Pesisir-Sawahlunto measuring 155.9 kilometers on Nov 19; the third stage, Sijunjung-Dharmasraya spanning 161.3 kilometers on Nov 20; the fourth stage, Solok-Payakumbuh District reaching 106.4 kilometers on Nov 21; the fifth stage, Solok City-South Solok covering 153.2 kilometers on Nov 22; the sixth stage, Pariaman-West Pasaman measuring 145.7 kilometers on Nov 23; the seventh stage, Limapuluh Kota-Padang Panjang spanning 112 kilometers on Nov 24; the eighth stage, Padangpariaman-Agam reaching 135.2 kilometers on Nov 25; and the ninth stage, Pasaman-Bukittinggi covering 117.2 kilometers on Nov 26.

The organizing committee of the annual sports tourism event is handing out prizes worth Rp2.3 billion this year, similar to what it had offered in the previous years.

"With regard to the prizes, we have confirmed that the amount will not change," Oni Yulfian, head of the West Sumatra tourism office, noted recently.

During the grand start from Istano Basa Pagaruyung Palace, Tanah Datar District, on Nov 18, some 316 security personnel will guard the event, Tanah Datar Police Head Adjunct Senior Commissioner Bayuaji Prajas stated.

Police, military, and civilian security officers will be deployed to guard the event, he revealed in Batusangkar sub-district on Thursday.

Several paramedics and firefighters will also be stationed to support the implementation of the event.

On Nov 17, a cultural fun bike is to be organized to introduce the Batusangkar City, with the start from the Cindua Mato Square and the finish in Istano Baya Pagaruyung, according to Deputy District Head of Tanah Datar Zuldafri.

The participants will be invited to a gala dinner at the Istano Basa Pagaruyung Palace in the evening.

Eager to be part of the international cycling race, the 18 cities and districts are offering accommodation and transportation as well as showcasing their natural scenery, in addition to organizing traditional art performances to entertain foreign and domestic participants of the TdS.

South Solok, one of the 18 districts, have prepared souvenirs depicting the traditional one thousand long houses of West Sumatra to be distributed to the participants at the finish line of the TdS? fifth stage, on November 22, 2017.

The participants will receive souvenirs depicting the one thousand long houses in miniature and other handicrafts produced by the local small- and medium-scale entrepreneurs, Budiman, head of the South Solok district office, said here, Thursday.

Local artists will perform traditional dances to welcome the national and international cyclists participating in the TdS, he noted.

The local administration will organize the One Thousand Long Houses Festival in Nagari Koto Baru, Sungai Pagu Sub-district, on Nov 19-21, 2017.

The festival will feature a dance carnival, traditional martial art performance, culinary bazaar, and parade.

Local residents will be involved in the festival, which will also be held in the Sungai Pagu area.

Visitors will also be able to stay in the homes of the local villagers in the one thousand long houses area.

The world-class TdS event takes renowned international cyclists on an exciting tour across the picturesque West Sumatra countrysides scenic landscapes comprising beaches, blue lakes, and numerous hairpin bends, as they climb up to the foot of the volcanoes.

Since 2013, the Amauri Sport Organization (ASO) has recommended the TdS as a major cycling event in Asia, because it has managed to attract more than 1 million spectators.

Inspired by the 119-year-old Tour de France, the TdS was first organized as part of the recovery program following a powerful earthquake that had devastated West Sumatra in 2009 in a bid to boost the tourism industry through a sport-based promotional activity.

Indonesia has intensified its tourism promotion, as the country is expecting to attract some 12 million foreign tourists this year as compared to 9.7 million last year.

Source: ANTARA News

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