The biggest and most prestigious international bike race ever hosted by Cambodia will kick off today in Koh Kong province.
The opening ceremony of the Cambodia Bay Cycling Tour 2020, which is also known as the World Cycling Tour 2020, was held yesterday, but the actual races will not begin until today. The event will run until January 6.
There are more than 200 cyclists from 20 countries that are participating in the event. International media outlets from many countries have also sent reporters to cover it.
Some of the top professional cyclists in the world are among the participants. The foreign participants started arriving in the last few days and were welcomed at Phnom Penh International Airport.
There are three teams from Cambodia (Cambodian National team, Cambodian Mixed Team and Cambodian Cycling Academy) that will compete with their counterparts from France, Italy, the United States, Australia, China, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam and other countries.
The route covers more than 450 kilometres and passes through several coastal provinces, including Koh Kong, Kep, Kampot and Preah Sihanouk.
The race will run through National Roads 3 and 33. There are reports that motorists were told to avoid those roads from Saturday to Monday to avoid disrupting the event and to avoid delays.
According to a programme provided by the event organisers, the race is divided into four stages. The first stage will cover a distance of 153.5km from Dara Sakor Resort to Sayphouthorng Boulevard, both in Koh Kong province.
The next stage, which will be a bit longer at 172.8km, will be from Sayphouthorng Roundabout to Thansur Sokha Bokor in Kampot province.
The third and last stage will run for 147.7km from Thansur Sokha Bokor to Kep province.
The event is being organised by the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia, International Cycling Federation and the Cambodian Cycling Federation.
Top Cambodia Government and sports officials are scheduled to appear during various stages of the event. They include Deputy Prime Minister Chea Sophara, Tourism Minister Thong Khon, Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak, NOCC Secretary-General Vath Chamroeun, Koh Kong Governor Mithona Phouthorng, Kep Governor Ken Satha, Kampot Governor Chev Tay and Ministry of Tourism Undersecretary of State Ny Phaly.
Wayne Pomario, president of the Commissaire and Bruno Bodard, director-general of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World Club, are also expected to be present.
In between the races, there will be news conferences, welcome dinners, race control meetings and other activities.
The event is aimed and is expected to further promote the tourism potential of Cambodia’s coastal areas.