Former Tour De France winner Cadel Evans has tipped central Vietnam as a future mecca for active tourism following his successful debut in one of Asia’s premier cycle events.
|Former Tour De France winner Cadel Evans|
The Australian cyclist, who triumphed in the world’s most famous road biking race in 2011, said he was “blown away” by his experience in Vietnam after competing in the Coupe de Hue and staying at an exclusive Banyan Tree Residence at Laguna Lang Co.
The two-day race, which took place at the end of September, featured contrasting compelling elements. On the first day, cyclists pedalled from sea level to 1260 meters in just 15 kilometers in the Bach Ma Laguna Challenge, an epic time trial that took place in beautiful Bach Ma National Park.
The time trial was followed the next day by the Gran Fondo Hue where riders vied for supremacy over a gruelling route that involved total climbs of over 3100 metres.
After passing through some of the nation’s most beautiful scenery, the race concluded in Hue, Vietnam’s former imperial capital, where the finish line was set up directly in front of the city’s famous citadel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It was the first time Evans had ever visited Vietnam and he left the country entranced by what he encountered.
“I had been looking forward to riding in Vietnam, and I have to say I was blown away by the experience,” he said. “From a rider’s perspective it is just totally unique. One minute you are cycling on flat, fast roads past rice paddies and water buffalo, the next minute you are climbing hard up mountains covered in pristine jungle. It was really exhilarating.”
The cycling wasn’t the only thing Evans loved about Vietnam. Along with other international competitors, he bedded down over race weekend at Laguna Lang Co, a main sponsor of the Coupe De Hue. During his stay, Evans gained an appreciation for another of Vietnam’s most potent drawcards: its legendary hospitality.
“The people in Vietnam are second to none. And the food is on another level,” he said. “For anyone looking for a unique destination for a cycling holiday, I can’t recommend the place highly enough.”
Evans’ endorsement is a big boost for Laguna Lang Co and fellow Coupe de Hue supporter, leading inbound adventure travel operator Indotrek as they help Central Vietnam move through the gears as a mecca for active adventure in Asia.