Thailand is hosting for the first time this week-end L’Étape Thailand by Le Tour de France, a globally-renowned cycling event which organisers expect will draw a crowd of more than 3,000 amateur and professional cyclists on the scenic roads of Phang Nga province
Riding on the same routes and under the same conditions as the champions of globally-renowned cycling race Tour de France: this is what L’Étape by Le Tour de France is bringing to amateurs each year in 15 countries in the world. And Thailand just joined the group this year, bringing this unique event for the first time to ASEAN.
The three day event, which is also a Premiere in Asean, will take place from 19-21 October, but the D-day is on 21 October with two cycling races in two distance categories: 140 kilometers and 70 kilometers. Both races start at 813 Tsunami Memorial Park in Khao Lak and finishes in the town of Ta Kua Pa.
The routes, which will be completely closed, are certified to meet the high standards determined by organizing an event under Tour de France brand starting from the start point until the finish line. The event is perfect for everyone, whether a professional or amateur athlete. Participants will face the same challenges and get to ride in the same conditions as one of a Tour de France stage.
They will ride from the sandy coast of Khao Lak through the mountains with their ranges of enormous trees and splendid sea views.
Even if we are not talking about climbing the mighty Alps nor the Pyrenees, the cyclists will face some tricky challenges such as a short but steep category 4 climb under the tropical heat. As in Tour de France, runners will have the opportunity to clock the fastest time in a 2.9-kilometer King of Mountain stage, and also the best time in the 300-meter King of Spring stage. The youngest crowd could also run for the best time for under 25 years old to have an honour to get the Tour De France Jerseys directly imported from France.
The winner of each distance category will secure the seats in L’Etape by Le Tour de France in France with flight tickets and accommodation.
The finish line is the place to be on 21 October with a team of internationally-renowned cycling superstars, including Alberto Contador, a Spanish who won Tour de France in 2007 and 2009, and who is only one of six cyclists in the world to win all three Grand Tour events, joined by Thai celebrities, such as Leo Put and “Yo” Yossawadee Hassadeewijit, and Thailand’s leading cycling clubs.
An expo and a number of activities will be available for all visitors to join throughout the three-day event.