Siak, West Sumatra (ANTARA) - A fun bike event, covering Siak City in Riau Province, was organized here on Wednesday to mark the start of an international cycling contest and the sports tourism event of Tour de Siak 2019.

The fun bike was participated by the public as well as cyclists taking part in Tour de Siak (TdSi), Siak District Head Alfedri stated.

Some one thousand people participated in the event that began from the front yard of the Palace of Siak.

"We are optimistic of this sports tourism event facilitating the promotion of Siak on an international scale and attracting more tourists to visit Siak District," he remarked.

Tour de Siak has been organized annually since 2013, and this year it has been included in the national calendar of tourism events and in the calendar of the United Cycling International (UCI).

A total of 13 teams comprising international cyclists from Malaysia, Slovenia, Singapore, Cambodia, the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Japan, France, Spain, Mongolia, Iran, and Russia, among others, are expected to participate in the TdSi 2019 held on September 18-22.

The cycling race covers a route with a total distance of 542 kilometers (km) and is divided into four stages: Siak-Mempura-Dayun-Siak, stretching 128 kilometers; Siak-Bungaraya-Sungai Apit-Siak, 114 km; Siak-Dayun-Buatan-Siak, two laps, and spanning 160 km; and Siak City Race, eight laps, reaching 140 km.
However, the PGN Road Cycling Team (PRCT), a continental team from Indonesia, has announced its withdrawal from the cycling race over haze arising from forest fires shrouding part of Riau Province.

Riau Province occupies the central part of the eastern region on Sumatra Island, which straddles between Malacca Straits, South China Sea, and Berhala Straits. The province is a strategic region, as it directly faces the Malacca Straits and Singapore, one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.

Moreover, Riau is one of the richest provinces in Indonesia, with abundant natural resources and covered by forest area.

Siak District was once the center of Islamic sultanates in Riau, called Siak Sri Indrapura. The Siak Sultanate heritage, such as the palace, is still well-preserved up until now and has become a proud legacy of the Malay civilization for Indonesia.

Historical tourist attractions of Siak comprise the Sultan Mosque, Marhum Buantan Tomb, High Density Hall, Lake Pulau Besar, River Tourism and Agro Tourism, Sultan Syarif Qasyim Forest Park, Pompa Anggrek Monument, and Kato Ships.

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Translator: Bayu A Adha, Fardah
Editor: Sri Haryati
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