Nguyen Thanh Tam crosses the finish line in Vung Tau beach town following the first stage of the Southern Revolution Road Cycling Tour on Sunday. Photo: Minh Hung
Cyclist Nguyen Thanh Tam of the Hat Ngoc Troi team won the first stage of the 17th Southern Revolution Road Cycling Tour from Ho Chi Minh City to Vung Tau on Sunday.
Earlier that same day, 13 teams (65 cyclists) took off for the annual race organized by the Voice of Ho Chi Minh City.
This year's event was titled Spectacular Tour as cyclists will race through the steep, zig-zagging slopes of the Ngoan Muc (Spectacular) Pass in the south-central province of Ninh Thuan.
The seven-day tour will cover over 800 kilometers (497 miles) along the southern coastline before reaching the Central Highlands resort town of Da Lat where the cyclists will complete ten passes around the Xuan Huong Lake.
From Da Lat, cyclists will race to Bao Loc Town and through Binh Phuoc and Binh Duong provinces before reaching HCMC’s Hoc Mon District, which served as the cradle of revolutionary forces resisting the invasion of the French and Japanese in 1940.
Tran Van Thuan, VOH director and head of the race’s organizing board, said the competition was originally slated to cross into Laos and Cambodia but was later restricted to the central provinces for unexpected reasons, including strict Ebola screenings along the border.
“But the new track promises heated competition and stamina tests for the cyclists,” he said, adding that organizers will hold future races through the three Indochinese nations.
“The race, an official national sporting event, will offer a chance for cyclists to gain more points as well prepare for the National Games in November,” Thuan said.
Organizers will hold the Mot thoi de nho (A time to remember) Gala Night in Da Lat when they are expected to deliver gifts to poor teachers, students and a charity house for the poor.
The Voice of Ho Chi Minh City organized the first Southern Revolution Tour in 1993. The annual event was not held in 1999 and 2000 due to financial difficulties.
Last year, ADC Vinh Long Television team claimed the title at the event, which also grants awards to individuals, at each stage and additional awards like Mountain King and Best Newcomer Cyclist.