A mountain bike through the remote mountainous region surrounding Sa Pa District in the northern province of Lao Cai will commence on Friday.
The three-day ‘Vietnam Mountain Bike Marathon’ race promises a truly pioneering ride against a backdrop of the highest peaks in Indochina and Hoang Lien National Park deep in the far north, organizer Topas Travel said in a press release on Wednesday.
According to the organizer, racers will be the first to tackle these trails through rice terraces and ethnic minority villages.
The route covers large parts of very remote mountains, meaning competitors will have access to landscapes that typically remain out of reach.
The first day includes a 50km journey north of Sa Pa to an area populated largely by the Hmong ethnicity, while the second day features a 68km ride to a southern locale inhabited by the Tay and Red Dao people.
The race then will conclude with a shorter stage around Sa Pa Town through Black Hmong villages.
“We have spent countless hours as a team out in the mountains seeking out great trails for people to race on,” David Lloyd, one of the event’s directors said.
“The result is a hard, but extremely beautiful race that was born from our collective passion for Vietnam and riding bikes,” he added. “We are now very excited to welcome international riders and show them what Vietnam has to offer.”
Participants from 22 countries have signed up for the race.
Among them is a group of Vietnamese sponsored by Cube Vietnam.
“Cube is very happy to be supporting a team of Vietnamese riders in this race,” Christina Lin, representative of Cube Vietnam, said in the press release. “We want to not only support young cyclists here, but also races like this that help to develop the sport in Vietnam – a country with huge potential for mountain biking.”
Topas Travel earned recognition as the creators of the Vietnam Mountain Marathon, a trail running event through the mountains surrounding Sa Pa.
This race has rocketed from 250 entrants to almost 1,500 in just four years.
The Vietnam Mountain Marathon has already donated thousands of dollars to charitable causes since its inception and the mountain bike race aims to benefit the communities that live along its route, the organizer promised.
A charitable donation of US$20 is included in every race entry.