23 March 2018
Returning for its 8th year, Asia's most exciting cycling competition: Tour de Bintan 2018 will bring the world's top cyclists to the enchanting Bintan Island in Riau Islands Province on March 23rd to 25th, 2018. For the second year in a row, Asia's premier amateur stage race will also double as a qualifier for the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Gran Fondo World Championships (GFWC).
Tour de Bintan 2018 is one of only two races in Asia and 22 races in the world that allow the top 25% cyclists to qualify for this year's Gran Fondo World Championships that will be held in Varese, Italy.
This year, the general classifications for the race are: The 17KM Individual Time Trial, 144KM Gran Fondo Classic, and the 111KM Gran Fondo Century. The Top 25% of each age category in the 17km ITT and 144km Gran Fondo Classic will be the ones to qualify for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championship. For each age category, the cyclist with the fastest accumulated time is crowned the winner and receives the Yellow Jersey. Adding an extra spark to the battle for general classification honors in 2018 is the introduction of bonus seconds for intermediate sprints. Both the Gran Fondo Classic and Gran Fondo Century will feature two intermediate sprint each.
The routes vary each year with each one showcasing the diverse beauty of Bintan, from stretching beaches through forests and hills in different parts of the Island. This year, the exciting competition will kick off with the Individual Time Trial on Friday, March 23rd at the Plaza Lagoi at the center of Bintan Resorts area.
As always, the main feature of Tour de Bintan will be the 144KM race through the heart of Bintan. This is the Gran Fondo Classic that will take place on Saturday March 24th. Exploring the enchanting beauty around the northern and eastern parts of Bintan, the race will start and finish in front of a big crowd at the small town of Simpang Lagoi. As in all previous races, cyclists will also be greeted with enthusiastic crowds at each town and village they pass through.
Closing up the series of races, the Grand Fondo Century will take place on Sunday, March 25th centered at the Nirwana Gardens Resorts, the traditional headquarter of the competition. Following the success of last year, the Tour de Bintan post-race celebration and final prize-giving ceremony will be staged at the beautiful beach-side of Nirwana Sea Sports Centre. After a one-year absence, the official tour dinner will also return to Nirwana Gardens on Saturday night, where a sumptuous buffet spread will indulge the hungry riders.
As many as 1.100 cyclists from 43 countries have confirmed their participations in the race. The number is expected to increase even more as the registration is still ongoing and it shows significant increase over the years. In 2016, the recorded cyclists was 824 and the number grew to 1.045 from 40 countries in 2017.
So, whether it is to put your skills to the test, or just to immerse in the adrenaline-rushing race, or maybe simply to enjoy the beauty of Bintan, Tour de Bintan 2018 is an event you can not afford to miss!