Tour de Indonesia is coming back

Tour de Indonesia is coming back

Chairman of the Executive Board of the Indonesian Sports Cycling Association (PB ISSI) Raja Sapta Oktohari provide information when a soft launch of the Tour de Indonesia 2017 in Jakarta on Tuesday (Nov. 8, 2016). (ANTARA/Wahyu Putro A.)

All efforts will be made from now."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Central Executive Board of the Indonesian Sports Cycling Association (PB ISSI) will revive Indonesias prestigious cycling race Tour de Indonesia (TdI), by organizing it again next year, after five years of hiatus.

Scheduled to be held in July 2017, the TdI, which usually starts from Jakarta to Bali, will cover a route of seven stages from Banten in the western part of Java to Banyuwangi in the easternmost region of the island.

"The TdI is designed to become an archipelagic cycling race series and serve as a benchmark for other regions which have cycling tour programs in Indonesia such as the Tour de Singkarak, Tour de Siak and others," PB ISSI General Chairman Raja Sapta Oktohari said after the soft launch of the TdI last week (Nov 9).

The TdI will be the biggest cycling event in Indonesia. Its soft launching was held first to ensure that it would be organized after five years. It will be held in July 2017 to coincide with the National Championship schedule of the Union Cycliste Internationale/International Cycling Union (UCI).

According to Oktohari, the implementation of the TdI will be inseparable from the support and cooperation of all sides, as this race is the icon of Indonesias cycling races.

"We have the soft launching today. All efforts will be made from now. This showcases our seriousness to prepare everything for this race. It has been awaited for several years," Oktohari said.

For the time being, the TdI 2017 will finish in Banyuwangi. This time it will be different from those held in the past when it finished in Bali. The distance to be covered is still under survey by a technical team.

The technical team will observe the roads, which will be used to cover the distance of the TdI, and is expected to allot a budget of about Rp20 billion. After observing the route, the team will also look at the supporting infrastructure. For the time being, seven stages have been decided, but all of this still could change based on the results of the teams surveys.

Apart from awaiting the results of the teams surveys, the BP ISSI is also waiting for the decision of the UCI regarding the dates of its implementation.

The cycling race is decided to be held in July to coincide with school holidays and the Indonesian National Cycling Championship 2017. It was decided to be held during school holidays in consideration that the organizers would be easier to clear the roads and allow the cyclists to pass without barriers.

"The organizers are willing to turn the cycling race into a real prestigious sport event and the biggest one in Indonesia. Therefore, it should be prepared maturely," Octohari said.

In order to make the TdI event a success, which will involve international cyclists, the PB ISSI is cooperating with a number of parties, including large sponsors and the Ministry of Tourism.

"The Ministry of Tourism is committed to support our programs. Now, cycling is not only a matter of racing achievement but also a necessity to develop sports tourism," Oktohari said in press statement in Jakarta on Monday last week (Nov 7).

Deputy for tourism marketing development of the Ministry of Tourism, Esthy Reko Astuti, said that the TdI could help promote the potential of the Indonesia tourism.

"We have met with our colleagues of the PB-ISSI who informed us that they will hold the Tour de Indonesia. We support it very much, because it will help promote the tourism sector in Indonesia," Esthy di Jambi said on Wednesday (Nov 16).

She said the TdI, which was once halted for several years, can develop cycling athletes in the regions and promote regional tourism.

After all, the event could be organized parallel or simultaneously in various regions or provinces which have tourist destinations such as nature tourism, culture tourism and marine tourism. But its technical implementation will continue to be discussed with the PB ISSI.

Esthy Reko Astuti hopes that cooperation with the PB ISSI would run smoothly, so that the development of sport tourism, particularly with regard to cycling events, would make further progress.

The Ministry of Tourism has three major tourism products which attract tourists, namely nature tourism, culture tourism and man-made (object) tourism. Sports tourism is part of the man-made tourism. Therefore, the tourism ministry hopes that the ISSI would handle the technical matters.

For cycling races, for example, the ministry hopes the technical matters would be handled by the ISSI, while the ministry will handle destinations, promotions and branding to attract tourists.

Esthy Reko Astuti hopes that the PB ISSI would also involve the tourism ministry in planning its activities. After all, the tourism ministry has 10 main tourist destinations that have been given development priority.

The planned organizing of the Tour de Indonesia 2017 was discussed in a meeting between the ministry and the PB ISSI officials.

"We hope that we can jointly promote Tour de Indonesia. We have the media, which could be used to expose the sport tourism programs," Esthy said.

Oktohari said his side is ready to discuss any matters with the tourism ministry. He said his organization, for example, has discussed matters relating to implementation of cycling races.

Currently, the PB ISSI is focusing on developing all kinds of cycling races such as road race, track, Bicycle Motor-Cross (BMX), cross country and downhill events. These events are focused not only to attain achievements in cycling but also to develop sports tourism.

With the cooperation of the tourism ministry, the PB ISSI hopes that everything could be carried out in a synergic manner. After all, the tourism ministry is the financial support of a number of cycling races both in national and international scale.

"Now, cycling races cover national and international scale events. We hope the tourism ministry will continue to provide supports or sponsors," said Oktohari.