Official Press Release for 2017 Dili International Marathon and 2017 Tour de Timor dated 20 July 2017
The Government of Timor-Leste has put full trust in former President and Nobel Laureate José Ramos-Horta to organise the Dili International Marathon and the Tour de Timor, the multi day MTB (mountain bike) Race that he initiated in 2009. The Government of Timor-Leste has provided $600,000 USD in cash and pledged ongoing in-kind support for the two events, which start on August 19 and September 19 2017 respectively. The Tour de Timor seeks to become Asia’s most famous bike race and one of the world’s most challenging endurance events.
Talking about the upcoming launch of the events Mr. Ramos-Horta said: “I started these activities in 2009 as part of my “Dili, City of Peace” campaign: the Tour de Timor has tremendous potential to showcase Timor-Leste’s natural beauty, as well as our warm and welcoming people. The events have always promoted peace and new relationships by bringing people together: in 2017 I wanted to make a special invitation to include ASEAN representation at the highest possible level. So far we have had great success in attracting riders from all over the world including many past champions and elite national squads”.
Mr. Ramos-Horta went onto say “It is thanks to the Government of Timor-Leste that these events that I started will continue. Prime Minister Rui Araujo, Minister Agio Pereira and the Secretary of State for Youth and Sport, Leovigildo Da Costa Hornay have all assisted greatly. They have ensured that the VIIth Constitutional Government of Timor-Leste will have immediate positive media attention around tourism development, which is a national priority. I look forward to Noble Timor leading the charge in showing the world Timor-Leste, in support of the Government and it’s National Strategic Development Plan”.
The Dili International Marathon main focus for 2017 will feature a full and half marathon on a fully accredited and professionally timed course, as well as a 5 km fun run. The 2017 Tour de Timor promises to be one the most challenging routes ever as the race winds its way through the spectacular central and western mountain regions of Timor-Leste. Special attention will be made in 2017 to race infrastructure and organization, allowing greater number of riders, volunteers and media to participate.
Representing the Government of Timor-Leste, the Secretary of State for Youth and Sport, Leovigildo Da Costa Hornay had this to say about the two events: “The Government of Timor-Leste gives its strong support for the Dili International Marathon and Tour de Timor, also recognizing that Timor-Leste takes part as a member of Union Cycliste International (UCI). Tour de Timor is also registered as an international event and included in the UCI calendar. These two major events will be promoting Timor-Leste’s tourism potential to the world and also will contribute to promote peace and social cohesion. I believe that the events will also be able to promote Timorese riders to the international stage and allow potential Timorese athletes to participate in the national and international events. On behalf of the government of Timor-Leste I would like to thank Mr. Ramos-Horta who has initiated these events since 2009 and also for the Noble Timor for your courage and hard work to realize these two major events”
Over 5000 runners are expected to compete across the three races of the Dili International Marathon. Around 300 riders are expected to ride together in what is fast becoming Asia’s most famous (and lucrative) mountain bike race, the Tour de Timor. In addition the ‘Ride for Peace’ (a short distance non competitive ride involving school children and participants) will be held on the 16 of September in the capital of Dili.