|Binh Duong cyclists seen in their practice to prepare for the International Women's Cycling Tournament. — Photo thethao365.com.vn
HA NOI (VNS) — The annual International Women's Cycling Tournament is expected to bring to fans exciting races as strong teams with more than 70 powerful cyclists have agreed to join the event.
The competition, which is known as the Binh Duong Open, will be kicked off on March 8 with eight local and six foreign teams.
They will tour through nine stages measuring nearly 800 kilometres to vie for a total of VND280 million (US$12,500) bonuses which are given to the ones who claim the yellow, green, white and polka dot jerseys and for the best team.
"With the participation of six foreign teams the tournament will be much more competitive at high speed and a lot of attacks will be made," Ngo Quang Vinh, deputy president of the Viet Nam Cycling and Sport Motors Federation, said at a press conference on March 2 in Binh Duong City.
Among local teams, the national top four – An Giang, Dong Thap, HCM City and the hosts Binh Duong – have their advantages as they have spent a lot of time practising on the hilly routes.
"The route to Bao Loc Hill is a decisive one which can decide the titles of the tournament, so my team and I myself will have to do our best. But, anyway, we want to vie for the top position," national team member Nguyen Thi That of An Giang said.
That, who has received an invitation to train in Switzerland's World Cycling Centre later this month, is the title favourite for both yellow and green jerseys categories.
The Asian Games silver medallist is outstanding in the hilly terrain and sprints. That will challenge Queen of Mountain Dang Thi Ngoc Huyen.
She will face a strong contest from Pham Thi Thuy Lien of HCM City, Cao Thi Thuy Trang of Binh Duong and Tran Ai Nuong of Can Tho.
Other rivals will be Asian championship No 9 Kaneko Hiromi, No 15 Sakaguchi Kiyoka from Japan, and No 10 Phetdarin Somrat of Thailand.
On the team pool, Dong Thap will have to work hard to defend their title against Binh Duong, home to rising stars, and Japan and Thailand.
The first stage is 66km around Binh Duong City. The last one is from Vung Tau City to Thu Dau Mot City on March 16. — VNS