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Wheels in motion for Tour

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Cyclists pass a palm plantation during stage three of Le Tour de Langkawi at Mersing, 350 km southeast of Kuala Lumpur, last year.

The biggest sporting event Cambodia has ever staged, the International Cyc-ling Federation-sanctioned, US$3.5 million Tour of Cambodia – Kingdom of  Wonder, has been tentatively set down  for the first week of February next year.

The exact dates and route of the 750-kilometre, five-day event over five stages will be announced soon. As many as 120 international riders are expected to take part, with 30 local riders joining the stream.

“We have switched from the drawing-board stage to the operational mode, and the first meeting of all the government and private agencies involved in organising this massive event concluded in Phnom
Penh on Wednesday,” National Olympic Committee of Cambodia secretary-general Vath Chamroeun told the Post yesterday.

“We now have a clear road ahead for our preparations.”

Following the Government’s approval of the race proposal in March of this year, a meeting of all the agencies, including the Malaysia-based event management group that is organising the Tour of Cambodia on behalf of the Cycling Federation of Cambodia and the NOCC, jointly drew up a comprehensive action plan.

“The meeting was atten-ded by the whole gamut of government and private org-anisations. The idea was to fix responsibilities and ascertain the individual roles they played in conducting an event of this magnitude,”  Vath Chamroeun said.

“We had representatives from the ministries of tourism, education, transport and interior, the Phnom Penh Municipality, NOCC, CCF, state TV networks and authorities from every province.

“More importantly, this meeting was attended by Kamal Shafi, the managing director of Tour de Langkawi,  our organisation partners from Malaysia.”

In their comprehensive  presentation, Vath Chamroeun and Kamal Shafi outlined the proposed route and laid out plans for the accommodation and transport needs of the participants.

“The tour will be flagged off in Siem Reap, where the first stage will be around the Angkor Wat complex. The second stage is Siem Reap to Battambang, the third Battambang to Kampong Chhanang. The
next two stages will start and  end in Phnom Penh,” the NOCC official said.

“Preparations are well under way, but we are still looking for sponsors.”

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