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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kingdom’s riders get Bokor Challenge push

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A group of cyclists ride on Bokor Mountain. Photo supplied

Kingdom’s riders get Bokor Challenge push

The ever-increasing popularity of cycling in Cambodia will get a major international boost with the introduction of the RHB Mount Bokor Challenge 2017, offering local riders an opportunity to race against some of the best cyclists from Southeast Asia.

The long-awaited professional three-stage road cycling will make its exciting debut in the Kingdom from May 6 and 7, with three special features – hill climbing, time trial and open racing

Rising to 1,062 metres above the Gulf of Thailand, Bokor mountain, near tourist hotspot Kampot, is the perfect location for staging a thoroughly demanding endurance test for both rider and bike.

The first day of racing features a 32-kilometre hill climb up the winding road to the top of Bokor, followed by a 17-kilometre team time trial around the top. Day two will further test the fitness, bike skills and determination of casual, adventurous and elite riders as they battle around Bokor National Park, according to the organisers of the event.

“Cycling in Cambodia has progressed at a very fast pace, and we are very excited to be able to host a race such as this here.

“Bokor offers racers a fantastic hill climb, an exciting team time trial stage, and what promises to be a nailbiting road race, all within the beautiful settings of Bokor,” said Vong Khan Pove, the general secretary of the Cambodia Cycling Federation.

Sanctioned by the Cambodia Cycling Federation, local organisers Flying Bikes 2 and Malaysia’s Endurace will ensure adherence to rules and regulations of cycling’s world governing body the UCI.

“Road cycling has really taken off in the past few years here, to a point where large groups now go riding each morning in Phnom Penh.

“It is great to see, and something we absolutely had to be a part of for this race. We have long supported Cambodian cycling, and I cannot wait to see the level of riding that will take place over the two days of racing,” said Pierre-Yves Catry from Flying Bikes 2.

Proceeds to Smile
Generous prize money, courtesy of sponsors from RHB Bank Indochina and Khmer Beverages Limited, and classification winner’s jerseys are expected to further push riders to their limits.

A percentage of proceeds will go to Smile Cambodia, an NGO which has worked since 2002 to offer life changing cleft-palate surgery across the country.

Race entry includes transfers to and from Phnom Penh International Airport, three nights accommodation and full meals at the Thansur Bokor Highland Resort, full mechanical support during the races and race insurance.

“We want to encourage all road cyclists from across the region to come and experience the fantastic cycling options in friendly and beautiful Cambodia.

“The race is not just for professionals, but for anyone with a love of the sport, and we look forward to welcoming everyone in May,” said Cheah Seng Ho, managing partner at Endurace.

The two-day race will be centred around the Thansur Bokor Highland Resort, part of the Sokha hotel chain. There will be plenty of non-racing fanfare and exhibition booths, including a music festival featuring local and international performers.

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