MIRI, July 29: Sporting events like Miri International Century Ride 2018 can help boost tourism in the state.
Hence, the state government hoped the private sector could organise more sports events, especially those that could attract international participation, said Datuk Lee Kim Shin, the Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
He said this to reporters after flagging off 464 cyclists taking part in the gruelling 114.03km-long century ride at Jalan Merpati this morning.
There were only about 400 cyclists when this international challenge made its debut last year. This time around, the event drew participants from Malaysia, Germany, United Kingdom, Thailand and Brunei, with about 200 from Brunei alone and more than 100 from other foreign countries.
Labelling the response as “positive” and hoping for even greater participation in future editions, Lee was confident the trail would turn Miri into an attractive cycling destination for foreigners.
“I was told that most hotels in Miri were fully occupied the last few days before this event. This is a good sign for our tourism industry,” Lee said.
From Jalan Merpati, the competitors rode to Bakam, Luak, along the Miri-Bintulu Road, Lambir and Bekenu before making their way to the finishing point by using the coastal road.
The ride was divided into six categories: Men Elite Open, Men Veteran, Mountain Bike, Ladies Open, Men Junior (for those aged 18 and below), and Men Master (for those aged 50 and above).
The winner of each category was RM1,000 richer. First runner-up was rewarded with RM700 and second runner-up RM500.
The event was organised by Masterpiece Cycling Club of Miri and Specialised Miri. It had the support of Sarawak Tourism Ministry, Miri City Council, the police, Fire and Rescue Department and Cycling Association of Sarawak. — DayakDaily