"The number of participants in Tour de Borobudur always increases from year to year, as it always offers new routes, experiences, and challenges in each of its stages," Sinoeng R. Rachmadi, head of the Central Java Sports, Youth Affairs, and Tourism office, noted here on Wednesday.
Some 500 cyclists will take part in the first stage that will start from Blenduk Church in Semarang and pass Demak Square, Mrapen Eternal Flame, Salatiga City Hall, and finish in De Tjolomadoe Karanganyar.
The second stage, in which 1,700 cyclists will participate, will start from De Tjolomadoe Karanganyar and pass the Prambanan Temple complex, and finally conclude in Borobudur Temple.
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The 19th Tour de Borobudur's route, spanning 265 kilometers, will be guarded by some 3,500 police officers, as the cyclists pass 11 regions in Central Java.
Initiated by the Semarang Bicycle Association (Samba), Tour de Borobudur is organized on a yearly basis. Initially, the race was held for just a day, with the start line from Semarang and finish line in Borobudur Temple.
Since 2016, the race format has been changed to two days, with different routes in every event.
Coordinator of Tour de Borobudur XIX/2019 Hendra Dharmanto stated that this year, the cycling race applies the "go green" concept by swapping plastic packaging with other environment-friendly materials.
"We will not use plastic packaging to wrap snacks. We will provide many water stations. Thus, the concept is go green, free of plastic while enjoying the natural scenery of Central Java," he stated.
Borobudur Temple is known worldwide for its primeval and massive mountain-shaped building, scenic reliefs, statues, and stupas.
The world's largest Buddhist temple has been popular worldwide, especially after the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization included the site of worship on its World Heritage list in 1991. Built during the reign of a king from the Saliendra Dynasty between 750 and 842 AD, the temple is located in Mendut Village, Magelang District, Central Java Province, some 42 kilometers from the city of Yogyakarta, at the center of Java Island.
Borobudur Temple, with a huge step pyramid structure made from giant stone blocks, is built on a hill and surrounded by valleys and hills.
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