|Nguyễn Thị Thật of Việt Nam (left) celebrates her Asian Cycling Championship win in June in Thailand. Vietnamese athletes will compete in the Tour of Thailand next April. — VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam will take part in the Tour of Thailand cycling tournament which will be from April 1-10, 2024.
Officially the Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhon’s Cup Tour of Thailand, the competition is an annual professional road bicycle racing stage. The International Cycling Union’s multi-stage race is part of the UCI Asia Tour.
The Tour will deliver points for world rankings, so it draws attention from leading Asian athletes. Vietnamese female cyclists are also regular participants of the event.
Next year’s event will have six stages for men from April 1 to 6 and three for women from April 8-10.
Last year, Asian champion Nguyễn Thị Thật of Việt Nam won the green jersey as the winner of the points classification. She took the lead after first two stages, but failed to maintain her position near the end of the last stage, losing the yellow jersey for the overall winner in the last minutes.
Earlier, Nguyễn Thuỳ Dung made history as the first Vietnamese to win the yellow jersey here in 2013.
In the coming race, Thật will vie against not only rivals from China, South Korea and Kazakhstan, but also her arch-rival Jutatip Maneephan, a strong road race and track cyclist.
In their latest meet at the 32nd SEA Games in May in Cambodia, Thật, riding for Roland Israel Premier Tech club, beat Maneephan to win the road race’s mass start after losing to her in the criterium event.
Earlier, Thật also overcame many riders to win the Asian championship title for the third time in June in Thailand. Maneephan finished in third position.
In other news, Việt Nam have wrapped up all Olympic qualification races, meaning that Thật will be the only Vietnamese cyclist at the Paris Olympics next July.
Thật secured her official place after her triumph at the 2023 Asian championship.
The final list of Olympians will be announced on July 8. There will be slots for 90 men and 90 women in the road race events. Other riders will take part in the mountain and BMX cycling events.
A total of 22 sets of medals will be awarded to the best cyclists.
“In 2024 we will have two important tournaments, the Asian championship in June in Kazakhstan and the Olympics in France,” said Nguyễn Ngọc Vũ, general secretary of the Việt Nam Cycling and Motor Sports Federation.
“We will make up a plan for the team in general and for Thật particular so that she can get a high result in the Paris event,” he said. — VNS
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