Hong Kong Cyclothon to get internationally recognised 100km circuit for first time

Organisers of October event say they expect 5,000 cyclists from the city and around the world to take part

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 July, 2017, 6:32pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 July, 2017, 9:26am

More than 5,000 cyclists from around the world are expected to test their mettle later this year at the city’s third annual Cyclothon, which will feature for the first time an internationally recognised 100km circuit that will twist its way around south Kowloon.

The event will take place on October 8, with the main race happening on a Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI)-certified 100km closed-circuit route along Tsim Sha Tsui and Hung Hom.

UCI is the world governing body for sports cycling. Only UCI members or members of other recognised cycling bodies will be able to take part in the main race.

Adam Kwok Kai-fai, executive director of Sun Hung Kai Properties, the event’s main sponsor, said: “You look at the Tour de France, Vuelta a España, or Giro d’Italia, the three biggest races, they always end up in the last stage in the major capital of the country.

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“Then you can see in the last stage... you have all the people lining up and cheering the cyclists and really getting into it. So we were thinking: If only we could get something like that in Hong Kong too.”

The Cyclothon will be a UCI class 1.1 race, a road race completed in a single day, the first of that kind in Hong Kong.

Online registration for the event will start this Saturday at 10am, running until August 11, on a first come, first served basis.

Event organisers said they expected more than 5,000 cyclists from Hong Kong and around the world to take part, which would be a record turnout for the event. The tourism board said it expected 60,000 spectators.

Peter Lam Kin-ngok, chairman of the tourism board, said the board wanted to capitalise on burgeoning interest in cycling within Hong Kong to burnish the city’s reputation.

“The Tourism Board will take this opportunity to maximise exposure and publicity for Hong Kong, and at the same time step up efforts to attract more avid cyclists to experience the mega-event, reinforcing Hong Kong’s position as the events capital of Asia,” Lam said.

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This year’s Cyclothon will still have 30km and 50km races. The 30km race will take cyclists from Tsim Sha Tsui to Tsing Yi via Stonecutters Bridge, while the 50km race will take cyclists on a more scenic route, from Tsim Sha Tsui, across the Stonecutters, Ting Kau and Tsing Ma bridges, and through three road tunnels.