Two days of storms fail to dampen spirits as 2019 Tour De Bintan shines brighter than ever
Tour De Bintan started its ninth edition over the last weekend of March 2019 with a few big changes but one thing that remained the same was a weekend of exciting racing that threw up a plethora of memorable storylines. Many of those tales will no doubt be centered on the weather, with two days of nasty tropical storms doing their best to ruin one of Asia’s premier three-day festivals of amateur cycling.
After eight years (plus the test event in 2009) headquartered at the Nirwana Garden Resort, the Tour De Bintan moved its HQ to Bintan Lagoon Resort this year. The switch brought benefits such as a direct ferry service to the resort from Singapore, a bigger accommodation capacity that allowed more racers to stay on-site, nine food & beverage outlets to keep them sated, and a course revamp for the concluding Stage 3 on the Sunday morning that, tough as it was, was a resounding success with the competitors.
More than 1,100 men and women signed up for the 2019 Tour De Bintan, a record high! With 47 percent consisting of newcomers to the Tour De Bintan, and for 12 percent of them, it was their first-ever cycling event. While the race has never failed to attract big numbers, the move to being a qualifying event for UCI Gran Fondo World Championship in 2017 has definitely raised interest in the tour. Since then, any riders who finish in the top 25 percent of their age group in Stage 1 Individual Time Trial and/or the Stage 2 Gran Fondo Classic earn the rights to take part in the world champs. This year the big dance takes place in Poznan, Poland from August 29 to September 1.
Tour De Bintan will return for its 10th-anniversary edition next year, and if the race organizers at MetaSport’s track record of constant improvements are anything to go by, the landmark 2020 race will be bigger, better, and even more memorable than the one that has just finished.
Check out the full results of the 2019 race here.
Click here for a throwback to Tour de Bintan 2018.