Tour de Timor cycle race

Dili Travel Blog

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Last minute details with Chic, UNPOL Deputy Chief of Operations

Monday 24th saw the start of the five day cycle race "Tour de Timor" where for the first time mountain bikers would race through 9 of the 13 districts in the hope of nabbing a share of over US$90 000 prize money. 

Or perhaps they hoped just to finish the race without losing and skin, blood or breaking their bones.  I tell you they are made of more hardy stuff than I!

It wasn't too many weeks ago that President Horta saw the Tour de France and decided this would be a perfect opportunity to showcase this spectacular country to the world by holding the event in the lead-up to the 10th year celebrations of the referendum that saw Timor Leste vote for independence from Indonesian rule.

I have been running around like a blue-arsed fly trying to get the Traffic side of things organised and in line as far as the organisers, the Police Nationale Timore Leste and my own UNPOL side of things.
Riders arriving at the Palace for the President's speech before the start
  This wasn't made any easier by my having to take 6 days off the week before the kick off. 

Anyway, by 9am this morning I was feeling very relaxed about things and now don't have to give it another thought until they all return to Dili (or some of them anyway) on Friday.

Oddly enough I had a "small world" moment when I was wandering into the Palace grounds in search of the PNTL Escort staff and a team of kiwi riders said g'day to me.  I struck up a conversation briefly with the guy that had hailed me and then one of the other riders said, "Oh yeah, it is you Chad."

Here was Baron, a guy I'd been at high school with and hadn't seen for 25+ years.  Unfortunaletly I had to keep moving and of course they had a race to think about so I'm hoping to catch the guys on Friday or Saturday night and share a few cold ones whilst we find out what the last few years have done to us.

Fancy meeting in this country due to a wild bike tour - that's travel for you... adventure and surprise along every trail.




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Dili
photo by: jose28