MIRI, Thursday, 9th July, 2015: The inaugural Tour of Sarawak is set to launch Sarawak into the international cycling calendar with the inaugural edition scheduled from January 13 to 17, 2016.
Slated an International Cycling Union (UCI) 2.2 status 5-stage race, the inaugural tour will take an expected international class field of competitors through a gruelling route covering a total of 756.2 kilometres from the start of the opening stage in Miri to the grand finish in the state capital Kuching on January 17.
The tagline 'Race Close to Nature' befits the overall spirit of the race, which aims to showcase the greatest asset of the State of Sarawak, which is its natural beauty that will be projected by an international media presence all through the scenic country landscapes and unique architecture from start to finish of every stage.
Organised jointly by the Persatuan Rakan Bestnye Sarawak (RBS) and Ryzam Southern Sdn Bhd, the race will have its pre-event festivities and ceremonial start of the first stage in the bustling and dynamic city of Miri, from where the peloton will cover a tough first day of racing which will end after 193 kilometres in Bintulu.
The second stage the next day will then cover an even further distance of 215 kilometres from Bintulu to Sibu, but the next day there will be some respite from the gruelling long stages with a short 120.8 kilometre Stage Three from Sarikei to Betong.
Stage Four, the penultimate stage, will cover 128.6 kilometres from Sri Aman to Serian, before the final stage from Serian to Kuching covers just 98.8 kilometres with an explosive bunch sprint finish a likely to end to Sarawak's first ever international class cycling race.
Endorsed by the Sarawak Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the inaugural Tour of Sarawak is expected to feature an international cast with cyclists from 20 countries expected to mark the historic moment in the State's cycling history.
At the race's route launch today, Assistant Minister of Communications and Sports Sarawak Yg Berhormat Datuk Lee Kim Shin said the event is in line with the State Government's plans to elevate sports tourism in Sarawak and would place Sarawak in the eyes of the world.
"We know sports Tourism is the next big thing. We anticipate that there will be many sports tourists and journalist visiting Sarawak during this period. It will indeed add more economic impact for the state of Sarawak. We thank the organisers and UCI for giving Sarawak this chance," said Yg Berhormat Datuk Lee Kim Shin, in thanking the organisers for putting together an event of international standards.