First ‘Bangkok Bank CycleFest’ brings the joy of cycling to all in Thailand
More than 2,000 cyclists, six rides, and countless memories in Thailand’s first lifestyle cycling event
The inaugural Bangkok Bank CycleFest rocked the streets of Pattaya this weekend of more than 2,000 cyclists took on the challenge of a 15.5 – 62 kilometer course around Siam Country Club Pattaya, one of Thailand’s most renowned international sporting event venues, to share in the joy of the ride.
Under the concept of RIDE FOR ALL and organized by IMG and supported by Siam Country Club Pattaya, Bangkok Bank CycleFest 2017 provided all riders an opportunity to experience a great ride on a safe and secure circuit amidst the natural surroundings of Siam Country Club in Pattaya on November 11-12, 2017. The inaugural Bangkok Bank CycleFest was met with overwhelming support from local and international cycling communities, and saw full participation rates in the Masters, Open Male and Fun Ride categories.
Dr. Thaweelap Rittapirom, Director and Executive Vice President of Bangkok Bank Public Company Limited, said, “Cycling is an activity that is accessible to everyone regardless of age and gender as it can be carried out across various ranges – from beginning level, which can be enjoyed in our daily lives, to global competitions. Not only does cycling helps to strengthen one’s physical fitness, it also benefits an individual’s mental health. We hope that the Bangkok Bank CycleFest can be a bridge that brings both casual and ardent cyclists together in their enjoyment of a good day out on two wheels. We are delighted to be a part of this wonderful event happening in Thailand.”
Rides and races for all paces
Set on a fully-closed, 15.5-kilometer road course on gently hilly terrain, Bangkok Bank CycleFest lived up to its ‘Ride for All’ motto with ride categories for any aspiring cyclist. Families and friends seeking a fine day in the sun could take on the Fun Ride, where all riders were able to go as far as they would like on a 90-minute jaunt through refreshing scenery without the pressure of competition. More experienced cyclists chose to tackle a more challenging ride – including three laps in the Open Female category and four laps in the Open Male, Masters, and Team Time Trial races.
Pranai Phornprapha, Advisor to the Board of Committee, Siam Country Club, said: “We are proud to have hosted the very first cycling event at Siam Country Club. The Bangkok Bank CycleFest has proven to be a fantastic change of pace for us, and one that we believe will continue to put us on the map as a top-class destination not just for golf but for all kinds of public participation events.”
“I am proud to be part of the first CycleFest, and I hope that the event will inspire passion in cycling not just as a sport but also a part of everyday life,” added former professional cyclist Jens Voigt, a two-time stage winner in the prestigious Tour de France and one of the four official ambassadors of the Bangkok Bank CycleFest.
“After twenty years as a professional racer, I can definitely say that cycling has changed my life for the better, and I hope that our festival here in Pattaya can help drive the growth of the cycling community in Thailand so that more of us can have the opportunity to experience this change – no matter in the form of a fun, healthy weekend in the sun or a new lifelong interest,” he added.
Voigt was joined in the CycleFest by actor Nutt Devahastin Na Ayudhya, actor and singer Mos Patiparn Pataweekarn, and actress VarnVarn Aroonnapa Panichjaroon – themselves active cyclists with considerable experience in long-distance rides across Thailand.
Over a course of two days, cyclists participated in both competitive and leisure categories of rides that covered and spanned different lengths. On Saturday, November 11, a flag-off at 7:00AM kickstarted the Masters races, where Tim Carter from South Africa finished the four-lap, 62KM-long trail with a net time of 1:38:17 to come in first.
Building on the excitement of the Masters, the Open categories for Female and Male were held later in the afternoon, where female riders participated in a three-lap, 46.5KM route, and male cyclists took a four-lap, 62KM trail. Pathtiya Suttitum from Thailand, rounded off her perfect ride with a net time of 1:27:54 to secure first place in the Female Open category. The fastest rider to clinch the Male Open title was Kunakorn Nonthichan from Thailand, with a net time of 1:34:50.
Share the ride, share the joy
More than just a competitive cycling event, the Bangkok Bank CycleFest truly lived up to its RIDE FOR ALL spirit in ensuring that there are all rides for all ages. On its second day on Sunday, November 12, a special RIDE FOR ALL charity ride started the day with 150 children from Banglamung Home, Father Ray Foundation, and The Human Help Network, where they took part in a shortened route of the full 15.5KM long circuit. That was followed by the crowd-pleasing Fun Ride, which provided a cheerful and enthralling cycling event for everyone, giving riders an opportunity to ride in a safe and secure environment on the scenic grounds of Siam Country Club.
In the afternoon, everyone at the event were highly charged as the adrenaline-pumping Team riding event steered into full swing. This team-effort competitive ride saw various teams participating in a four-lap, 62KM long trail, where team Roojai – Ch.Numchai Interbike, comprising of Kunakorn Nonthichan, David Creegan, Nicolas Faquet, Adrian Pringle and Jo Sebastian, emerged victorious with a team time of 1:31:53.
In addition to the various rides, Bangkok Bank CycleFest sought to turn cycling into a cornerstone of everyday life in local communities. The on-site festival village at Siam Country Club Pattaya offered a trove of weekend joy to everyone, no matter on foot or two wheels, with lifestyle and entertainment offerings from sponsors – including
Bangkok Bank, GS Battery, Daikin and Tissot – as well as cycling-specific gear from Specialized, Shimano, and Jaggad.
Winnie Heng, VP IMG Thailand, said, “The sight of thousands of cyclists spending their weekend with us in Pattaya was an inspiring one, and we hope that our contribution of 150 bicycles and safety equipment to the children from the three beneficiaries of Banglamung Home, Father Ray Foundation, and The Human Help Network, with tremendous support led by Bangkok Bank, Mitsubishi Motors (Thailand) Co. Ltd., Siam Country Club, Probike and Eastern Bike Pattaya will only be the first step towards a similar moment of inspiration for children here and across Thailand, and to help sustain the spirit of cycling amongst today’s youth.”
The inaugural Bangkok Bank CycleFest was organized by IMG, a global leader in sports, fashion, events and media, and sponsored by Bangkok Bank PCL with premium partners Siam Daikin Sales Co., Ltd. and Siam GS Sales Co., Ltd. as well as support from Aero Media, The EmQuartier Shopping Complex, Tissot Thailand, and Mitsubishi Motors (Thailand) Co.