L’Etape Indonesia, a cycling event for amateurs under Amaury Sports Organization, which organizes the Tour de France, will bring a taste of Grand Tour cycling to Mandalika, Lombok, on April 5.
The event, organized jointly with local sporting event company Rocca, aims to promote Mandalika’s tourism potential while giving participants the Tour de France experience.
“For us, Lombok is a sleeping giant of tourism that has yet to boom. It’s a cycling paradise for the amateurs. Our route covers everything [as participants] can see mountains, hills, rice paddies and beaches,” Zacky Badrudin, event director of L’Etape Indonesia by Tour de France, said in a press conference in Jakarta on Wednesday.
According to Rocca data, as of Wednesday 1,300 people from 17 countries, including Australia, Canada, France, Portugal and Pakistan, have signed up for the race since registration opened in October. The organizer will close registration once the number reaches 1,500 participants.
The race will be divided into two categories, 80 kilometers and 135 km.
First held in 1993, L’Étape du Tour is an organized mass participation cycling event that allows amateur cyclists to race over the same route as a Tour de France stage.
It has been held in countries such as Mexico, Columbia, the United States and China.
This year alone, L’Etape by Tour de France is set for 20 editions in 13 countries including Indonesia and Thailand.
“We will also cooperate with the hotel association in West Nusa Tenggara to provide a tour and hotel package,” Zacky said.
West Nusa Tenggara Tourism Agency head Lalu Muhammad Faozal said the April event would be beneficial for tourism in the region as April usually marked a low season.
“Cycling is a massive sport. Let’s say that each participant brings more than two crew members. With [the current] 1,300 participants staying for over three days, can you imagine how much would they spend during their stay for the event?” he said.