The Seventh Tour de Singkarak, one of the biggest international events that took place in West Sumatra, ended on October 11 2015. Having nine stages, this bicycle tour which began on October 3 toured through 18 districts with a total distance of 1,341 km. The tour passed the largest lake in West Sumatra, Danau Singkarak, and various districts and towns such as Tanah Datar, Payahkumbuh, Agam, Bukittinggi, Sawahlunto, Solok, and Pasaman.
The first of such tours took place in 2009 starting in Kota Pandang, the capitol city of West Sumatra, and ending in Danau Singkarak, hence the name Tour de Singkarak. In 2012, Sawahlunto was chosen to start the tour which ended in Kota Padang. This year, the Tour de Singkarak started in Pantai Carocok, Kabupaten Pesisir Selatan and ended in Kota Padang, with stage four beginning in Sawahlunto. The tour’s chairperson, Sapta Nirwandar, stated that Tour de Singkarak 2015 has reached the fifth position of the world’s cycling event.
The 2015 tour involved a lot of difficult courses such as Kelok 44 and Kelok 9, as well as Bukit Sileh, and not to mention the climb toward the rute to Muaro Kalaban Silungkang Sawahlunto. However, this year’s participants also cycled through the most beautiful countrysides and well-known places around West Sumatra, such as Danau Kembar, Lembah Harau, Danau Maninjau, Puncak Lawang, and Jam Gadang. Besides amazing sceneries, they also passed through cultural icons such as the Istano Basa Pagaruyung and Sawahlunto’s historical mining town.
No doubt this major event also benefited West Sumatra’s tourism industry by increasing the number of tourists visiting West Sumatra, opening avenues for investments in tourism, and reviving local creative industries. Athletes and organizers of the tour also spent a few nights in Sawahlunto, raising the profile of the city.
This annual event is held by the Ministry of Tourism, provincial, and local governments in collaboration with the Union Cycliste International and the Amaury Sport Organization, which organizes the Tour de France. However, this year’s host district team, Binong Baru Club Pesisir Selatan, failed to take part in this tour, as reported by the media, due to lack of funds.
Another issue of concern was the visible smoke haze from Kalimantan. However, despite the smoke, the media reported that the fourth stage of the tour which began at Lapangan Segitiga Sawahlunto and finished at the Regent’s Office of Solok Selatan, was not affected. Iranian cyclist Amir Kolahdozhagh of the Tabriz Petrochemical Team ruled the fourth stage from Sawahlunto to Solok.
Iranian cyclist Arvin Moazemi of the Pishgaman Giant Team won the competition, while Indonesia’s Pegasus Continental Cycling Team was in sixth place. The 2015 tour included 31 participants, 22 teams, and 35 countries, and a total prize of Rp1.4 billion. The government plans to double the prize for the 2016 event. We look forward to next year’s tour.
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CNNIndonesia.com. Kabut Asap Tak Hentikan Tour de Singkarak 2015 http://www.cnnindonesia.com/olahraga/20151007090835-178-83332/kabut-asap-tak-hentikan-tour-de-singkarak-2015/. Accessed 23 October 2015.
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