Minister of Tourism Arief Yahya last week announced Indonesia s newest UCI AsiaTour stage race, the Tour de Flores, scheduled to be held in May 2016. It is anticipated to be the focal event of a wider cycling festival that the Indonesian Government hopes will provide a jump in tourism numbers.
The 2016 Tour de Flores is expected to be modelled after Indonesia s Tour de Singkarak.
According to various local reports that have surfaced, it is anticipated that the race will take place over five stages and a total distance of approximately 650km. It will be sanctioned by Indonesia s Cycling Association (Ikatan Sport Sepeda Indonesia, or ISSI), although it does not appear on the UCI s 2016 AsiaTour calendar; suggesting planning is still very much in an embryonic state.
Tour de Flores is expected to be modelled after the successful Tour de Singkarak (TdS), a UCI2.2 stage race first held in 2009 that has reportedly been rated by Tour de France owner Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO) as the world s fifth biggest in terms of broadcast reach, with an estimated 550 000 viewers. Minister Arief Yahya had previously announced that prize money for the 2016 Tour de Singkarak would be increased to INR3Bn (USD218 000); a 20% increase from the 2015 edition.
Though the new race (which can also be abbreviated to TDF; perhaps merely a coincidence) will be part of the UCI AsiaTour, it is closer to Australia than many Asian nations, but it has not yet known whether any Australian (or New Zealand) teams will be invited. A range of other cultural and cycling events, including a fun ride, are also planned around the UCI race.
The five stages of the 2016 Tour de Flores are currently reported as: Larantuka Sika Sikap Ende Ende Bejawa Bejawa Ruteng
dan Ruteng Labuan Bajo