Vietnam’s central region, with its steep jungle-clad mountains that fall sharply to beaches and coastal towns, will host the cycle event 20 September. It marks the second edition of the Coupe de Hue after a successful 2018 launch.

Australian former Tour de France winner Cadel Evans will compete against a field of professional and elite riders from around Asia at this year’s event.

The tourism industry in Hue wants to establish the event on a global race calendar of cycle races.

As well as being one of the main sponsors, Laguna Lang Co has partnered with the organisers, Coupe de Hue, to help with planning and development.

The property has assembled a dedicated “race team” that will provide support across critical areas including logistics, safety, nutrition and consultation.

Competitors will stay at one of the property’s two resorts, Banyan Tree Lang Co and Angsana Lang Co, over the race weekend. Evans will stay at one of the property’s Banyan Tree Residences.

For the event’s second edition, the resort has organised a new race feature: the Bach Ma Laguna Challenge. First envisioned by Les Walters, who is the director of activities at Laguna Lang Co, the time trial, will take place at the Bach Ma National Park on the first of the two race days. Competitors will race against the clock in a tough hill climb time trial from sea level to 1260 metres in just 15 kilometres.

“The Coupe de Hue gives us a perfect chance to promote the area and showcase its natural beauty,” said Walters. “As the largest foreign investment in the province, Laguna Lang Co is committed to ensuring the success of such a significant event that will ultimately bring global attention to this region.”

Labelled “Vietnam’s toughest road race” the Coupe de Hue certainly lives up to its formidable billing. The epic time trial in Bach Ma will be followed the next day by the Gran Fondo Hue where riders will vie for supremacy over a gruelling route that involves total climbs of 3100 metres.

After passing through some of the nation’s most beautiful scenery, the race will conclude in Hue, Vietnam’s former imperial capital, where the finish line will be directly in front of the city’s famous citadel: a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

By securing the participation of riders of the calibre of Evans, this year’s race is a clear statement of intent by the Coupe de Hue organisers to make the event a fixture on the World Gran Fondo Championship calendar. “For riders in the event, having the chance to ride alongside a legend like Cadel Evans will be regarded as one of their most special moments,” added Walters. “Also, the ensuing publicity will further promote the huge potential of Vietnam to the broader world of competitive and recreational cycling.”

TTR Weekly - August 21, 2019