|The Hạt Ngọc Trời Cycling Cup seen last year. The 2016 version will begin today in An Giang Province. Photo baodansinh.vn|Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI – The National Hạt Ngọc Trời Cycling Cup begins on May 10 with a 39km race in An Giang Province.
The 21st annual tour, called Return to Countryside, has attracted 90 athletes from 17 local crews and one Cambodian crew, who will compete in 12 stages and cycle 913km, the longest distance in the tour’s history.
A bonus of more than VNĐ441 million (US$19,800) is up for grabs, drawing athletes such as Huỳnh Thanh Tùng and Trần Nguyễn Duy Nhân of Military Zone 7, Hà Thành Tâm of An Giang and Phan Hoàng Thái of Domesco Đồng Tháp.
An event for amateurs is also being held.
Organisers will donate just over VNĐ1.3 billion ($58,400) to a charity on the sidelines of the event. Free rice and healthcare will be provided to poor people and notebooks and scholarships will be awarded to students in the localities the cyclists pass through.
The tour will pass through six provinces of the southern region and the final stage and the award ceremony will be held on May 19 at Long Xuyên City in An Giang Province. — VNS