Officiated by the Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Mari Elka Pangestu; Governor of West Sumatra, Irwan Prayitno; Regent of Padang Pariaman, Drs.H.Ali Mukhni; and Chairman of the Indonesia Sport Cycling Association (PB ISSI), Edmund IT Simorangkir, the opening of the Tour de Singkarak 2014 was marked by the thunderous beating of the traditional gendang tasa drums.
Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Mari Elka Pangestu, stated that the international event is expected to increase interest in West Sumatra, a destination that has quickly gained in popularity. Adding that over the years, Tour de Singkarak has raised its scale of participating regencies, in its event management, as well as the quality of the competition.
“Tour de Singkarak 2014 is expected to further boost the popularity of West Sumatra as one Indonesia's favorite destinations with its stunning natural beauty and challenging cycling tracks” said Minister Mari Pangestu.
Over 3000 spectators attended the official opening ceremony of this annual sports-tourism event which featured dynamic art performances including the traditional musical collaboration of gandang tambuar, dampiang indang, bakiak, gendang tasa, and rabab piaman. The cultural troupe involved 25 artists from the Art Birama Group. With musical arrangements by Susandra Jaya.
The Opening also featured Indonesia’s renowned pop band Nidji who performed some of their popular hits. In his energetic performance on stage, Giring -the main vocalist-, encouraged the audience to welcome the event with enthusiasm and hoped that TdS continues to be the pride of Indonesia.
Scheduled to take place from 7th to 15th June 2014, the TdS 2014 will be divided into 9 stages during the 9 days race, with a longer course compared to last year, covering a total 1,250KM. This year, participating regions increased to 18 with the inclusion of the West Pasaman Regency. This year, international and national cycling athletes will compete for a total cash prize of IDR1.3 billion.
This year’s Tour de Singkarak is expected to be extra special, since three champions from three different years of the cycling race of Tour de Singkarak will compete against one another. A fierce race will ensue among the winner of TdS 2012, Oscar Pujol Munoz, with winner of TdS 2011, Amir Zargari, and the return of Ghader Mizbani Iranagh who won the TdS of 2009,2010, and 2013, which is surely something to watch for. The three riders have placed their names in many international cycling events, and now they are here to compete in Tour de Singkarak 2014.
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