Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Tour de Indonesia (TdI), themed "The Ultimate Race is Back," is a quadrennial international cycling and tourism event to be held early next year.
Since last being organized in 2011, the TdI has been revived again by the Indonesian Cycling Federation (PB ISSI) following the Union Cycliste Internationales (UCIs) decision to upgrade its level from 2.2 to 2.1.
The upcoming TdI will be organized on January 25-28, 2018, and its official launch was held in Jakarta on December 11, 2017.
In addition to promoting Indonesias tourism, the Borobudur-Bali TdI 2018 will help to promote the implementation of the Asian Games and Para Games 2018.
"We have lent support. We hope the two major sports events would have synergy with other sporting events," Raja Sapta Oktohari, the PB ISSI chairman, stated, recently.
Logos and banners of the 18th Asian Games and Para Games will be put up at every venue of the TdI.
This will be the second time that Indonesia will host the Asian Games, with the first one being held in Jakarta in 1962.
Some 9,500 athletes; 2,500 personnel of the Asian Olympic Council; and 5,500 technical delegates from 45 countries will participate or be involved in the Asian Games, which will be co-hosted by Jakarta and Palembang in South Sumatra Province from Aug 18 to Sept 2, next year.
At least 3,500 media representatives are expected to cover the games.
Furthermore, Indonesias national cycling team, being trained for the Asian Games 2018, will be tested during the TdI.
The 755-kilometer(km)-long TdI will start in Borobudur, Central Java, and finish in Denpasar, Bali, according to Parama Nugraha, chairman of the organizing committee of TdI 2018.
The tour comprises four stages: Borobudur-Madiun, covering 195 km; Madiun-Prigen, spanning 216 km; Probolinggo-Banyuwangi, reaching 198 km; and Gilimanuk-Denpasar, covering 163 km.
A total of 25 teams, including eight special invitees, will participate in the sixth TdI. Of the total teams, at least two are World Tour teams and the rest are from Pro Continental, Continental, and national teams.
Continental Indonesia will send three teams -- KFC, CCC, and PGN -- to participate in the TdI, which is now included in the UCI calendar.
Every team will comprise seven cyclists and five officials.
Domestic and foreign teams that have confirmed their participation in the TdI are the Emirates Team from the United Arab Emirates; Merida from Bahrain; Asiana Pro Team from Kazakhstan; Sangemini from Italy; Aviludo Louletano from Portugal; Continental Cycling Team from Thailand; and PGN Cycling Team, ACC, and KFC Cycling Team from Indonesia.
Indonesian teams will have to face strong competition from Malaysia, South Korea, and Africa.
Budi Saputra, manager of the national teams of Indonesia, noted that among cyclists to be included in the national training center are Jamal Hibatulloh and Imam Arifin of the KFC Cycling Team; Abdul Soleh of BRCC Banyuwangi; Aiman Cahyadi of the Sapura Pro Cycling Team from Malaysia; and Robin Manulang of the United Bike Kencana from Malang.
Initially, the TdI would have been organized in July 2017. The change in schedule of the TdI was attributed to the result of talks between the ISSI official and Italian event organizer RCS at the recent Asia Cycling Race Confederation Congress in Bahrain. It was also decided at the congress to postpone the TdI from July 2017 to January 2018.
To ensure success of the TdI, PB ISSI had invited RCS representative Cristian Queirolo to visit Indonesia and conduct a survey of the route to be used by the TdI. The survey was conducted on the route linking Jakarta, West Java, and Banten, Oktohari remarked.
The PB ISSI has cooperated not only with the RCS but also with the Police Traffic Corps.
"The role of the traffic corps of the police is vital for the success of the TdI," he added.
Queirolo also highlighted the importance of the role to be played by the police for the success of Giro dItalia. Moreover, the Italian police chief is involved in every edition of the Giro dItalia.
"Giro dItalia will cross through the country. Hence, the Italian national police chief is involved directly in the event. He will not only monitor the race from up-close but will also be directly involved in the event," he pointed out.
In a bid to promote its tourism industry, Indonesia has lately organized similar cycling races.
Several Indonesian regions organize annual sports tourism events for cycling enthusiasts by offering them exotic routes passing through rural green areas, with scenic charms and pleasant weather.
The events include the Tour de Singkarak in West Sumatra, Tour de Flores and Tour de Timor in East Nusa Tenggara, Tour de Central Celebes in Central Sulawesi, Tour de Moluccas in Maluku, and Tour de Banyuwangi Ijen in East Java.
Source: ANTARA News