Saturday, July 15, 2017


Jakarta, July 15, 2017 (Antara) - The second Tour de Flores (TdF) cycling race and tourism event being held on July 14-19 is expected to be more challenging, as the number of regions to be covered during the tour has increased.  
   The 2017 TdF covers a total distance of 808 kilometers (km), an increase from 661.5 km in 2016, due to the addition of the Aegela-Mbay route in Ngada District.     
   Some 20 cycling teams comprising more than 150 cyclists from 11 countries in Europe, America, Asia, and Australia are participating in the tour.
        Last year, 20 teams from 16 countries had taken part in the TdF that was held for the first time in May.
        East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) Governor Frans Lebu Raya flagged off the cyclists participating in the 2017 TdF race at the start line in front of the East Flores district head's office in Larantuka on July 14, 2017.
        The cyclists started in Larantuka and later headed to Maumere, Ende, Mbay, Borong, Ruteng, Aegela, and Mbay until finishing in Flores Island's westernmost town of Labuan Bajo.
        The first stage, covering a distance of 148 km, started from Larantuka in East Flores District and finished in Maumere in Sikka District, on Friday.
        The governor was optimistic that the cyclists would do their best to reach the finish line, as they love taking up new challenges.  
   "This year's cycling race is more challenging than that in the previous year due to the number of regions to be visited, longer distance, and the quite rough terrain," Governor Raya explained.
        He also reminded them to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Flores Island.

        "Do not forget to tell your families and friends about the beauty of Flores Island and the hospitality of its people. Come back to NTT with them one day," he noted.    
   Governor Raya remarked that TdF is part of the efforts to make Indonesia's eastern region known internationally and to lure more tourists.
        "We continue to seek to hold international events as part of the efforts, including by improving infrastructure in the region," he emphasized.
        A tourism event usually boosts development in the region by hosting the activity. For the 2017 TdF, the Public Works and Public Housing Ministry had allocated a budget amounting between Rp30 billion and Rp40 billion per district for conducting road repairs along the Larantuka-Labuan Bajo route.
        Organizing committee chairman Primus Dorimulu stated that through the event, Indonesia is keen to invite the world to visit Flores, which is rich in natural and cultural tourism attractions.
        "The TdF is a sports tourism event intended to promote Flores' tourism potentials," he added.
        Indonesia, as the host, has fielded four teams in the race, while teams from other countries include the CCN Cycling Team from Laos, Sapura Cycling Team from the Philippines, Terrengganu Cycling Team from Malaysia, Futuro Cycling Team from Australia, Kinan Cycling Team from Japan, Geumsan Indam Cello from South Korea, Pishgaman from Iran, and other teams from China, Hong Kong, and Thailand.  
   Drew Morey, a member of Malaysia's Terengganu Cycling Team, won the first stage of TdF, on the first day of the race.
        Morey finished the race in 28 minutes and two seconds, defeating Jamal Hibatullah from the KFC Cycling Team of Indonesia, who crossed the finish line two seconds later.
        Genki Yamamoto from the Kinan Cycling Team of Japan finished third in the race.
        The cyclists were greeted by Paolus Nong Susar, Sikka district head, and thousands of local inhabitants while they approached the finish line.
        The local residents enthusiastically lined up along the route to watch the race.
        In the first stage, the other winners were Wu Chih Hao from the Action Cycling Team of Taiwan in the "king of mountain" category, Hyeongmin Choe of the Geumsan Insam Cello team from South Korea in the "best sprinter" category, and KFC Cycling Team of Indonesia in the team category. 
   As many as 83 cyclists participated in the first stage covering the Larantuka-Maumere route, with several uphill and downhill roads and sharp turns.
       The second stage to be held on July 15 will start from Maumere and end in Ende, covering a distance of 142.8 km. 
   The third stage will be from Ende to Mbay covering 83.3 km; the fourth stage from Mbay to Borong spanning 170.9 km; the fifth stage from Borong to Ruteng, 55.5 km; and the sixth stage from Ruteng to Labuan Bajo, 120.2 km.
        At every stopover, international and national cyclists will be greeted and entertained by local artists who will perform traditional dances.
        Sondi Sampurno, director of TdF, said the race has been recognized as a 2.2-category cycling event by the International Cyclist Union.

(T.F001/A/BESSR/A. Abdussalam) 15-07-2017

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