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Riders to saddle up for uphill race

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1 Riders to saddle up for uphill race on Sat May 14, 2011 8:17 pm


HA NOI — Local cyclists will race the 51km prologue of the "Return to the Roots" Race at Hoan Kiem Lake tomorrow, the Viet Nam Cycling Federation announced at a press conference.

The men's five-stage race will cover 476km from Ha Noi to the finish line in the mountainous province of Cao Bang on May 19, on the 121st birthday of late President Ho Chi Minh.

The point-trail prologue will see 72 cyclists from 12 teams racing 30 laps around Hoan Kiem Lake.

Riders will start the first road-race 70km stage from Ha Noi to Phu Tho Province on Monday before winding through Thai Nguyen, Tuyen Quang, Bac Can and Cao Bang with prizes totalling VND175 million (US$8,700).

"The race is actually a challenge for all riders because of uphill roads in the northern mountainous provinces. However, the toughest race will be the 147km stage from Tuyen Quang to Bac Can," said head of the National Sports Administration's cycling department Nguyen Duc Cuong.

"It's also a tough test for the national team members, who are key cyclists at the Southeast Asian Games this November."

The last and most dangerous 120km stage from Bac Can to Cao Bang will be rocky race with riders testing their skills over five mountain passes.

Organisers will offer prizes to the overall yellow jersey (the best time rider); green jersey for the best stage finish cyclist; white jersey for the best young cyclist and red jersey for the Mountain King.

This is the second time the race has been organised in the northern mountainous provinces. The first race was held 16 years ago.

The National Textile and Garment Group, Vinatex, has also agreed provide VND100 million ($5,000) in sponsorship. — VNS

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