Cycling in Asia continues to grow following the announcement by event organisers that the first Tour of Laos will run in November of this year. The UCI 2.2 race will be the first international road race held in the Lao People's Democratic Republic, and organisers claim it will be the country's largest sporting event.
The five stage Tour will cover 745km and give cyclists unique access to the notorious Ho Chi Minh trail - made famous by its use in the first and second Indochina wars.
"Invitations will be issued to leading teams from around the world, so that all the Continents will be represented in the field of 120 riders," said a statement from the organisers. "As the Tour is scheduled to end shortly prior to the start of the South East Asia Games (SEA Games), countries eligible for the games will be using the Tour as their final proving ground for their SEA Games teams."
The Tour has the full support Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh's office, along with further support from the provincial and city administrations and the Ministry of Tourism.
Whilst the race route has not yet been finalised, the Tour will be starting from Vientiane, the capital of Laos. The route will then head either north to Luang Prabang or south to Paxse, depending on final discussions with the Government and sponsors.