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24/09/2019 - 08:17

Coupe de Hue 2019 - the "craziest" Cycle Race Tournament in Vietnam

The Coupe de Hue 2019 is seen as the most risky and arduous cycle race tournament in Vietnam and is equal to the world-famous Tour de France.

The Coupe De Hue 2019 will have the competition "King of Climbing Bach Ma Laguna Mountain ". Photo: NGUYEN PHONG

"Crazy" in ... planning

“At the end of the Coupe de Hue 2018, the Organizing Board (OB) earned a lot of praise  from the athletes when they first came to Hue to attend a cycle race tournament with beautiful routes throughout Vietnam. But apart from those compliments, many international racing cyclists regretted that the tournament had a flat route lacking challenges and risks - the key to creating the attraction in cycle race tournaments worldwide,” Mr. Nguyen Trung Truc, the OB member of Coupe de Hue 2019,  started the story with Thua Thien Hue Weekend.

"Discussing the regret of the athletes and the idea of ​​incorporating 2 places of  Bach Ma, A Luoi into the competition content makes many people skeptical about the feasibility, even some people say "craziness". "Craziness" is because, in addition to the fact that the two roads above are as adventurous, arduous as Tour de France, for the world’s most famous cycle race tournament, how to gather many international athletes, health issues, logistics, volunteers, insurance, escort motorcycles ... are many times more difficult than Coupe de Hue 2018. But after reviewing the competence plus the enthusiastic support from the province, the Departments of Culture & Sports, Tourism ..., the "craziness" is completely envisaged and controlled, " asserted Mr. Truc.

Despite many beautiful routes, the Coupe de Hue 2018 lacked challenges

In the 2 days of Coupe de Hue 2019 (September 21 and 22), on the first day, the athletes must experience the challenge: "King of Climbing Bach Ma Laguna Mountain " with a length of 15.2km, an altitude 1,260m, the average slope 8.3%. Next day, they must conquer the "Gran Fondo Hue City  - A Luoi – Hue City ” road 150km long, 1,800m high,  and Half Fondo 65km long.

In the "King of Climbing Bach Ma Laguna Mountain " competition, although having to conquer the height of 1,200m above sea level only in a distance of 15.2 km, in return, the athletes will cycle under green trees, have the opportunity to see more than 1,400 plant species, hear the birds, animals call the flocks and enjoy the fresh nature in the more-than-10km journey.

After conquering  Bạch Ma Mountain, next day, the athletes will  race cycles on the Hue City - A Luoi – Hue City route (Gran Fondo).Except for the last 15km relatively flat, the rest of this route requires the racing cyclists to devote all their strength to conquering the rugged passes, the sharp bends twisting and turning with the majestic mountain cliffs, immense forests, misty abysses to reach A Luoi Town. Then they  return to Hue City with the destination of Phu Van Lau Flagpole.

As for Half Fondo content 65 km long, the athletes also depart from Hue City to A Luoi, but only cycle 26.6km on this route and then return to the destination in Hue City.

 Bach Ma where the racing cyclists both conquer the challenge and enjoy the feeling of immersion in nature

“Currently, more than 50 Vietnamese athletes and about 200 international athletes register for participation, including the world-famous racing cyclists such as Javier Sardá (Spain), Chris Butler (USA) , Cadel Evans – the former world champion of mountain biking (1998, 1999) and Tour de France (2007, 2011) ... With the reputation and level of the aforementioned athletes, the tournament promises to create the spread beyond the territory of Vietnam even in the next organization, ” said Mr. Truc.

After the reels

Unlike the previous races, this is the first international professional Gran Fondo tournament to be held in Vietnam as well as the first time to be registered in the list of tournaments of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) in Cycling for All category.

According to Mr. Nguyen Trung Truc, after this tournament, if able to demonstrate the ability in organization, and meet the strict standards of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the Coup de Hue will become a must-enter competition every year for the professional racing cyclists around the world.

So, if this happens, besides being the first place in Vietnam to host a truly world-class professional tournament, the Coup de Hue is also a catalyst for  the cycling movement in particular and sport in general. Equally importantly, it contributes to spreading the distinctive features of the land and the ancient capital’s people to friends around the world, offering more opportunities for Hue tourism and services to continue development.

However, the Coupe de Hue 2019 is not just confined to cycle race. During the journey to conquer Bach Ma (September 21), there will be a combination of community sport activities with an eye to spreading the "green" values ​​that occur in parallel, including boat race, SUP race; parade of ancient Vespa motorcycles, performance by saxophonist Tran Manh Tuan, 3 generations of the late composer Trinh Cong Son's family cycling and cheering a "green - clean - bright" Hue; clearing trash on the Huong River and on both banks, Phu Van Lau Flagpole, Nguyen Hoang Bus Station, Nghinh Luong Dinh, Dong Ba Market ...

Mr. Phan Thanh Hai, Director of the Department of Culture & Sports, said, “With the scale and the goal, not only for sports, Coupe de Hue promises to contribute to promoting and spreading the cultural, tourist values of a beautiful Hue to the friends from 5 continents.”

Story and photos: Han Đang