Ho Chi Minh City TV kick-started on Tuesday an annual cycling race meant to celebrate Vietnam’s national reunification.
About 100 riders from 15 teams competed in the first stage of the 33rd HTV Cup tourney in Cao Bang Province, about 280km north of Hanoi.
They raced 45km around Cao Bang City, which is the capital of the province.
Le Nguyet Minh from Ho Chi Minh City-New Group finished first in 1:00:07, followed by Nguyen Tan Hoai from Duoc Domesco Dong Thap and Huynh Thanh Tung from Quan Khu 7.
|Cyclists compete in the first stage of the 33rd HTV Cup cycling race in Cao Bang Province, Vietnam, April 6, 2021. Photo: HTV|
Minh is wearing both the most prestigious yellow jersey for the overall lead and the blue one for the stage winner.
Thai Ngoc Hai from 620 Chau Thoi-Vinh Long is keeping the white jersey for the best young rider.
Tap Doan Loc Troi is leading the table, with Duoc Domesco Dong Thap ranking second and Ho Chi Minh City-Vinama coming in third.
Riders will start the second stage, covering 130km from Cao Bang to Lang Son, on Wednesday.
Fifteen teams compete in the 33rd HTV Cup cycling race, including Ho Chi Minh City-Vinama, Ho Chi Minh City-New Group, Quan Doi, Quan Khu 7, Hanoi, Bike Life Dong Nai, Ynghua Dong Nai, Duoc Domesco Dong Thap, Dopagan Dong Thap, Tap Doan Loc Troi, Gao Hat Ngoc Troi, 620 Chau Thoi-Vinh Long, Nhua Binh Minh-Binh Duong, Can Tho City, and Vietnam Youth Team.
From April 6 to 30, riders will have to cycle 2,450km of the competition’s 22 stages from Cao Bang Province in the north to Ho Chi Minh City in the south, organizers said at a press conference introducing the race last month.
|Riders compete in the first stage of the 33rd HTV Cup cycling race in Cao Bang Province, Vietnam, April 6, 2021. Photo: HTV|
The rider who finally takes the yellow jersey will be rewarded with VND200 million (US$8,648) while VND50 million ($2,162) each will go to those who wear the blue and polka dot jerseys in the end.
A cyclist will pocket VND20 million ($865) after winning each stage.
The best cycling team will receive VND100 million ($4,324).
The tourney’s prize money amounts to VND2 billion ($86,480), the largest ever.
Considered Vietnam’s ‘Tour de France,’ HTV Cup has been held annually since 1989.
The race is organized every year to celebrate Vietnam's national reunification achieved on April 30, 1975.