Tour de Phuket & Phang Nga Review
If you’re looking for a race in an exotic location then look not further than CycoSport’s Tour de Phuket which was the 5th edition in March 2020 just before all races globally got postponed due to the Coronavirus. If you struggle to get your wife/husband/family to come along on your bike related holidays then the island of Phuket is an easy sell.
To be able to battle it out for GC honours over the many categories you must complete the full three day tour which includes the an ITT on Friday, the queen stage on Saturday and a hilly stage on Sunday but there are many options for riders just wanting a fully supported ride with a beautiful backdrop. The race attracts large numbers from Singapore, HK and Thailand and also people coming from Australia and further afield.
The ITT is a completely flat 5km course on a cycle path next to the Phuket Gateway which is the entrance to Phuket island. Flat out from start to finish it separates the competitive categories by mere seconds but sets up the weekends racing nicely.
The Queen stage starts at the Gateway and then heads into mainland Thailand and is a reasonably flat 144km’s with two KOM’s. The climbs are not long and are both less than 100m’s in elevation but they are enough for the climbers to launch attacks and try to breakaway. It is best to not have your TT gearing on your bike are the two hills reach gradients of over 10% so enough to make your legs scream! The finish line on both days is just before you get back to the main road heading back into Phuket with drinks and awards done a short ride back to the Gateway.
The final stage is 97km’s with 6 steep sharp climbs each about a 100m in elevation. Although it doesn’t sound like much when you add the fatigue from the previous days racing, the constant changing of speed as attacks go and get chased back, and the constant hills it is definitely a race of attrition with the pelotons shrinking in size after every hill. As with the queen stage the finish line is in mainland Thailand with drinks and final GC awards back at the Phuket Gateway.
Whether you are a seasoned racer looking for the GC honours or a sportive rider looking to explore beautiful roads in an exotic place this race is a must!