‘Tour of the Dragon’ to­day

Business Bhutan - - Nation - Tsh­er­ing from Thim­phu

The 9th edi­tion of the pop­u­lar ‘Tour of the Dragon’ will kick off to­day from Bumthang and fin­ish at the Clock Tower in Thim­phu.

A to­tal of 48 con­tes­tants are par­tic­i­pat­ing in the one­day race that in­cludes 30 Bhutanese riders and 18 for­eign cy­clists. The race will start from Chamkhar town in Bumthang at 2 am to­day.

The ‘Tour of the Dragon’ is con­sid­ered as one of the tough­est one-day bike races in the world cov­er­ing a to­tal of 265 kilo­me­ters over four Hi­malayan Moun­tain passes be­fore fin­ish­ing in Thim­phu. The ‘Tour of the Dragon’ was con­ceived by His Royal High­ness Prince Ji­gyel Ugyen Wangchuck in 2010. It’s an an­nual race now that is or­ga­nized by the Bhutan Olympic Com­mit­tee (BOC) to pro­mote Bhutan as an ad­ven­ture sport des­ti­na­tion to the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket.

The win­ners of the Tour of the Dragon will be awarded a cash prize of Nu 150,000, Nu 90,000 and Nu 75,000 re­spec­tively along with cer­tifi­cates. The youngest and the el­dest rider to com­plete the race within the cut-off time will also be awarded cash prize of Nu 10,000.

Mean­while, the four time cham­pion of the ‘Tour of the Dragon’ moun­tain bike race, Sonam, 35, will not race this year due to in­jury. Sonam, pop­u­larly known as the “Son of Dragon” first bagged the ti­tle in 2012.

He was the fastest rider in 2013, 2015 and 2017. On his de­but race, he came sec­ond in 2011 and bagged the third po­si­tion in 2014 and with­drew from the 2016 com­pe­ti­tion be­cause of shoul­der in­jury.

Mean­while, the other race, the fourth edi­tion of Dragon’s Fury will be flagged off at 10 am from Lobesa, Pu­nakha. This race was in­au­gu­rated in 2015 to cel­e­brate the 60th Birth An­niver­sary of His Majesty the 4th Druk Gyalpo.

A to­tal of 68 par­tic­i­pants will take part in the 60 kilo­me­ters race that has four cat­e­gories - se­nior and ju­nior men, se­nior and ju­nior women.

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