268km from Bumthang to Thimphu is unimaginable even when you are in a car but Tour of Dragon is going to test your tolerance by putting you on a mountain bike across the distance, which is longer than any stage in Tour de France. In last year's event, the first cross country race in Bhutan, 16 out of 30 racers made it to Thimphu- How was it possible? It made me realize how passion can make all the difference.
Mountain biking has become Bhutan's latest passion and in just over a year you can expect explosion in the number of participants and also the number of racers completing the race. September 17 is the day this year.
Following last year's big success, this year Tour of Dragon is going international.
And as it goes international, I think it's already eyeing big dollars and thereby ignoring the passionate home racers who won't be able to come up with Nu.25000 as race entrance fee. As far as I can see, no wife will let her husband cycle 268 km paying Nu.25000 for just Nu.100,000 prize. Prize is not worth the price racers will have to pay.
By keeping people's passion hostage I clearly don't see spirit in the sports. If the fee is not revised I can foresee only few elite Bhutanese bikers this season, thereby leaving hundreds of ordinary Bhutanese upset.