Sunday, April 16, 2017


Jakarta, April 16, 2017 (Antara) - Comprising Lombok and Sumbawa Islands as well as hundreds of smaller ones, West Nusa Tenggara  (NTB) Province is blessed with beautiful white-sand beaches, forest-covered mountainous areas and a distinct culture.
         NTB, which is Located not far from Bali and scenically no less beautiful than Bali, hopes to attract 3.5 million foreign tourists by 2017 and four million by 2018.
         To lure more tourists, the province, however, does not want to rely only on its natural scenery.
         West Nusa Tenggara should enrich and diversify its tourism attractions, including by offering interesting and challenging sport tourism events, Governor of West Nusa Tenggara M. Zainul Majdi has said.
         For the purpose, the NTB administration has planned several sport-based tourism events such as the Lombok Marathon, Sumbawa Ultra Run, Rinjani Ultra Run and an international cycling and tourism event Tour de Lombok Mandalika.
         Mandalika is among Indonesia's 10 priority tourist destinations, including Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Tanjung Lesung in Banten, Borobudur Temple in Central Java, Mount Bromo in East Java, Wakatobi national marine park in Southeast Sulawesi, Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara, and Morotai Island in North Maluku.             
    Governor Zainul Majdi on April 13, 2017, inaugurated the Tour de Lombok Mandalika, held until April 16 and participated in by 15 international teams and four domestic teams.
         He was optimistic that the Tour's foreign participants would become "tourism envoys" of NTB because they would help promote the province in their respective countries if they are satisfied with the implementation of the race.

         Tour de Lombok Mandalika has been classified by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) as a 2.2 category race.
         The foreign teams came from 22 countries, such as the Netherlands, Germany, Laos, Thailand, Switzerland, Australia, Spain, Japan, France, South Korea, Luxembourg, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Colombia, Italy, Mongolia  and China.
         Head of the NTB Tourism Office Lalu Moh Faozal said the four day race was organized by the Indonesian Association of Cyclists (ISSI).
         The race comprised four stages covering a total distance of 485 km.
         The first stage started in Mataram and finishes in Kuta Beach, covering a distance of 126.3 kilometers, with one sprints stage and three King of Mountain (KOM) stages.
         The second stage covered 112.8 kilometers  from Bangsal Harbour to Senaru with three sprint stages and two KOM stages.
         Meanwhile, the third stage started from Kuta Beach to Sembalun, covering 134 kilometers, with three sprint stages and three KOM stages.
         The race concluded by a circuit city race on the fourth day in Mataram with three sprint stages.
         The organizers of the race provide a total prize amount of Rp800 million for the winners.
         Vice President of the Indonesian Cycling Federation M. Benny Subagia hoped that the Tour de Lombok Mandalika could grow into a much larger international event in the next years and invite as well as inspire more local riders.
         "It was a beautiful race. I started the first stage perfectly. I felt really good today. I tried my luck and raced aggressively and managed to stay in the front until the end," Australian rider Nathan Earl James of Ukyo Cycling Team said on April 13, after dominating the first stage of the race.
         Nathan finished the first stage of the race, covering 126.3 kilometers from Mataram to Kuta Beach, in 3 hours 16 minutes and 21 seconds.
         He also won the second stage on April 14, by finishing as the fastest, in two hours, 59 minutes and 34 seconds.
         Nathan's teammate Benjamin Prades Reverter finished two seconds later, along with Davide Rebellin from team.
         "It was a real team performance today. I relied a lot on my team to help me. Without them, I don't think I could've won today," said Nathan after the race.
         Their teamwork has brought along domination in the results of the race since Nathan managed to defend three jerseys from the previous stages, a yellow jersey for winning the stage, teal jersey for the sprint category, and a red polka dot jersey for the King of Mountain category.
         Meanwhile, in the national rider category, Dadi Suryadi from the Terengganu Cycling Team came out as the fastest, defending the red and white jersey, in three hours, one minute and 10 seconds.
         The second best national rider was Jamal Hibatulah (3:01:25) and Muhammad Abdurohman (3:01:56) in the third place.
         The Indonesian government has encouraged regional administrations to organized international cycling events at national as well as local levels, where domestic and foreign participants could have a close encounter with the country's beautiful nature.
         This year, local administrations have been gearing up for cycling events such as Tour de Singkarak in West Sumatra, Tour de Flores in East Nusa Tenggara, Tour de Central Celebes in Central Sulawesi, Tour de Moluccas in Maluku, and Tour de Indonesia.    ***1***

(T.F001/A/F. Assegaf/Bustanuddin) 16-04-2017

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