Vietnam's national tour begins Saturday

The 17th edition of Vietnam's national cycling tour, the Ho Chi Minh City Television Cycling Cup,...

The 17th edition of Vietnam's national cycling tour, the Ho Chi Minh City Television Cycling Cup, begins in the city named after the event next Saturday, April 16, also finishing in Ho Chi Minh City 14 days later on April 30.

Covering a total distance of 1,497 kilometres, the 14 stage event is mostly comprised of local teams, but the 2005 edition will also see three international teams from South Korea, Thailand and Sri Lanka. According to the Thanh Nien Daily, this year's route has been extended to include more provinces and will visit towns including: Quy Nhon in the Binh Dinh central province, Pleiku and Buon Ma Thout in the Central Highlands, and Bao Loc in the Lam Dong province. The title sponsor, Ho Chi Minh City Television, is reported to be broadcasting each stage live.

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