Tour of the dragon

This year’s Tour of the Dragon was a grand success. At 2:00 AM on Saturday, 45 riders representing 15 teams took off from the town square in Chamkhar and raced towards Thimphu. 28 of the riders managed to complete the grueling one-day, 268 km mountain bike race from Bumthang to Thimphu.

Last year’s fool – the rider who fell off his bike in Trongsa, but stubbornly rode on to complete the race – fared better this time. He didn’t fall. And he clocked a decent 14 hours 16 minutes to complete the race.

But this year’s Tour had better highlights. Here are a few of them:

  • Eight riders broke last year’s record of 13 hours 39 minutes. Sonam Tshering owns the new record at an astonishing 11 hours 31 minutes. (That, incidentally, is how long some motorists take to make the journey from Bumthang to Thimphu!)
  • Yeshi Dema, the only female rider to take part in the Tour, became the first lady to complete the race. She took 17 hours 11 minutes.
  • Pema Khandu, aged 18, was this year’s youngest rider. He rode the 111 km to Chendebji before calling it a day.
  • Colonel Tawpo, aged 59 years, was this year’s oldest rider. He completed the epic journey in what must have been a torturous 18 hours 25 minutes. He rode into Thimphu at 8:25 PM long after the prize distribution ceremony had ended.
  • 857 volunteers (comprising of teachers, students, civil servants and businessmen and women) lined the route to point out potholes and unexpected bumps, direct traffic, distribute water and food, and to generally cheer the riders on.
  • HRH Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck did not compete in the race. He rode, but did not compete. Instead – and in spite of his competitive nature – he chose to support and encourage the riders. He checked on every rider who fell off his bike. And he accompanied most of the riders who struggled through the difficult stages of the race. In the process, he probably rode more than the race’s 268 kilometers.

Thanks to the efforts of the volunteers, RSTA officials, traffic police, Dzongkhag authorities and, above all, the Bhutan Olympic Committee, this year’s Tour of the Dragon was a grand success.  Well done.

 

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Comments

  1. Yangka Chojay says:

    That was the good sign to our beautiful environment and to the land of the thunder Dragon which is on the way to GNH and already experiencing the beautiful Democracy. Keep it up………!

  2. WHAT IS THE DATE FOR NEXT YEARS RACE. I HEAR IT IS 1ST SEPTEMBER. WANTED TO CONFIRM.

  3. I thought there are greater concerns of the nation to draw the attention of the Hon’ble OL than a playful bike riding!

  4. OL, what a seasoned politician! He tries to tell people that he is a law abiding individual and a sticker to law but when you hear him say what he said about the Gorgan-Shingkhar road last night, his true colour comes out. A real politician!!!!

  5. Yangka Chojay says:

    “Happy blessed rainy day” you OL la and to you to all of tomorrows…….@yankga

  6. What a trip – Bumthang to Thimphu. Phenomenal.

  7. Tenzin penjore says:

    We are having one of the biggest earthquakes and our PM Jigmi Y. Thinley is busy globetrotting. Is his New York and other cushy trips more important than our poor people suffering aftermath of the earthquake. His government has conveniently blocked a very popular site http://www.bhutantimes.com after it was filled with several damaging stories of the PM and his gang of unscrupulous leaders having been involved with acquiring lands from poor farmers and having alloted to thelselves. Our GNH country has so many rape cases and incidents of crime and umemployment.

    What is OL doing on this?

  8. I am glad if the government decides to block any undesirable websites that degrade our country, that has nothing good to say but report only negative aspects. It is our country, our nation and we have to live here for generations to come for eternity. We don’t want some unscrupulous group to promote nasty websites that focus only on negativity. My plea to the government and the genuine Bhutanese to block such site for ever. We have every right to do so. THANK YOU FOR THIS INITIATIVE.

    So what? if our PM is not in station. The disaster happened when he was away. We need him to complete the task he is assigned with and complete his dutiful rounds. We other capable leaders like the offtg PM, Hon OL let alone our beloved monarch. What more do we need. Everyone is playing their part. I know OL will not say anything to this as he is a very sensible leader who knows what is good for King, country and the people.

  9. Dal bahadur sherpa says:

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