Tour of the Dragon – Bhutan: Race on Top of the World

Elevate your racing –  from 1200 to 3340m. Bhutan’s Tour of the Dragon is a cross between Paris Roubaix and California’s Death Ride…

RACE DATE: September 1, 2012

(20th February – 30th March, 2012)
National Individual Registration Fee: Nu: 6000
International Individual Registration Fee: $250 (US)

The one day Mountain bike race is aptly named the Tour of the Dragon, not only because it is being held in Bhutan, which is also called the Land of the Thunder Dragon, but also because of its difficulty.

As difficult as it is to conquer a dragon, so is it difficult to complete the race! This race is one of the most grueling bike races, if not the most, in the world.

268 Kilometers Across the Inner Himalayas of Bhutan.
268 Kilometers Across 4 High Mountain Passes.
268 Kilometers From Central Bhutan to Western Bhutan.
268 Kilometers from Elevations of 1200 Meters to 3340 Meters.

The race not only is the most challenging one day event in the world but also one of the most beautiful – taking one by pristine natural surroundings including some of the last virgin forest in the world. It is definitely the most scenic, taking one through different but uninterrupted ecosystem and high mountain passes that opens up to view of some of the highest peaks in the world – stretched across the horizon.

Any self respecting cyclist would know about Paris Roubaix which is often called the Hell of the North or A Sunday in Hell – considered the most challenging one day race in the world and the Tour of the Dragon is just 3 km longer. The tar road of the Tour of the Dragon (from Bumthang, Central Bhutan to Thimphu, West Bhutan) would feel almost as cobbled as the route of the Paris Roubaix. But on the road of the Hell of the North, the elevation does not cross 685m while on the Tour of the Dragon, the starting elevation is 2700m and climbs up to 3340m. In total, during the race, one gains 3790m and loses 3950m.

The highest one reaches in the Death Ride – the most challenging one day premiere race in the US, is 2660m with total distance of 206km. So it is no wonder that some of the participants, including the founder have dubbed Tour of the Dragon as “Death Race”.

The race has been conceived by His Royal Highness, Prince Jigyel U. Wangchuck – President of Bhutan Olympic Committee who is a leading biking enthusiast and an all round sportsman himself. His Royal Highness himself led the race and was one of the few that completed in record time. It is to be held first Saturday of every September, during the time, when in Bhutan climatic conditions are just right.

Find out more and register here

One thought on “Tour of the Dragon – Bhutan: Race on Top of the World

  1. T Ajax says:

    This race is not worth the 10 grand plus it will cost you, for a road ride on a MTB. Plus the government requires you to pay a guide to be with you 24/7, at $400 per day! No just hopping on your bike for a roll through the countryside. They tell where you can go, and you must have an escort with you at all times, or the armed Royal Army will have you in lockdown before you know it. They want to watch every single step you take, and make sure you only see what they want you to see. Most of the country is restricted to visitors, they must not want you to see the extreme poverty and oppression they are trying to hide.

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