Malaysia s newest UCI AsiaTour pro cycling race scheduled to take place on the island of Borneo, from 02-06 March.
Note: this article has been revised since it was first published. It now reflects the new race dates announced in November 2015.
Though a basic route map has been released, precise details of the five-day Tour of Sarawak billed as gruelling in the official media release remain under wraps. Preliminary information suggests at least two KOM climbs per stage during the first four days, with the final (and shortest) stage presenting the platform for a likely bunch sprint. Of the two states that comprise Malaysia s share of Borneo (whose land mass is split between Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei), Sarawak is not as famous for its high mountains as the state of Sabah which boasts the 4 095m Mount Kinabalu and the race won t stray far enough from the western shoreline to hit the Tama Abu Ranges which straddle the Indo-Malay border. Nonetheless, we ll remain hopeful that the profile will live up to its gruelling headline.
If the race goes ahead as planned and with all else remaining constant it will be one of at least five pro cycling events on the UCI AsiaTour calendar to be held in Malaysia. Malaysia s National Cycling Federation had hoped Tour of Sarawak may have been up and running as early as 2013, forming part of a Malaysian racing bloc that would see regional teams able to race in Malaysia for up to five months a year.
According to an article published by the Borneo Post, Sarawak State s Social Development Minister, Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom who is also the race Chairman hoped Tour of Sarawak would be an annual event. In addition to the objective of promoting Sarawak as a tourism destination, the Tour is viewed by Mawan as a social asset that can promote solidarity in the sense that it can become a reach out point to distract people away from all negative elements or problems. This type of event should be encouraged as it would go a long way to bring the whole nation together.
The article also reports that teams from Great Britain, Japan, South Korea, China, Australia, Iran, South Africa, the Philippines and Hong Kong as well as local teams would take part in the 756.2 kilometre race.
ROUTE (TO BE CONFIRMED)
Stage 1 | Miri Bintulu, 193.0Km
Wednesday, 02 March 2016
Stage 2 | Bintulu Sibu, 215.0Km
Thursday, 03 March 2016
Stage 3 | Sarikei Betong, 120.8Km
Friday, 04 March 2016
Stage 4 | Sri Aman Serian, 128.6Km
Saturday, 05 March 2016
Stage 5 | Serian Kuching, 98.8Km
Sunday, 06 March 2016