Large-scale cycling tournament Ascend Armenia Ultra Distance Bikepacking Race 2023 was held in Armenia
Large-scale cycling tournament Ascend Armenia Ultra Distance Bikepacking Race 2023 ended in the Dilijan city park participated by professional cyclists from more than 20 countries of the world. The total length of the cycling route was 1200 km and passed through the settlements of the regions of Vayots Dzor, Gegharkunik, Tavush, Lori and Shirak.
The cycling tournament consisted of long and short races. The start of the long race was made on June 25 from the Republic Square in Yerevan. It was attended by 32 athletes who covered the entire route in 5-8 days. The short race started from the village of Margahovit, Lori region on July 2 and more than 40 athletes took part in it. The participants of both races finished in the city park of Dilijan, where the sports cycling festival The Ascend Armenia cycle Fest was organised.
Thanks to the tournament, athletes from around the world, such as the USA, Australia, Hungary, Switzerland, Georgia, Belgium, Belarus, Cuba, Germany, were able to discover Armenia as a new destination for adventure tourism. The route of the race ran through the picturesque nature of Armenia, providing participants with the opportunity to enjoy panoramic views, protected forests and mountain landscapes.
Swiss cyclist Adrian Liechti won the tournament, Kai-Uwe Lenuh (Germany) was second, and Jacob Hora (USA) was third.
"Project Ascend Armenia was able to unite professional cyclists, lovers of an active lifestyle and just sports enthusiasts. Such tournaments create a favourable environment for the development of sports infrastructure, the creation of new routes and training sites, as well as attracting sponsors and investors to the country's cycling industry. We are happy to be part of the final sports event in Dilijan. For the city, this is a landmark event that contributes to the development of Dilijan and strengthens its position as an important tourist and sports centre,” commented Grant Babasyan, CEO and co-founder of Impulse management company.
“The RA Tourism Committee attaches great importance to holding an international cycling tournament in Armenia, as it gives us a unique opportunity to present and the participants to discover Armenia as a mysterious destination. The Committee's branding of Armenia as a tourist country is based on 4 tourism destinations: gastronomy, cultural, local and adventure, and thanks to this event, participating cyclists, many of whom were in Armenia for the first time, had a unique opportunity to get to know all these components, especially local and adventure directions. We hope that the event will become an annual one and every year it will become more and more large-scale, bringing together professional and amateur cyclists in Armenia. I am sure that our guests have managed to fall in love with the nature, people, hospitality and culture of Armenia and will return to their countries with vivid impressions, with a great desire to visit Armenia again, said Mariam Hakobyan, Assistant Chairman of the Tourism Committee of the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Armenia.
“This year, for the first time, we are organizing a cycling trip over such a long distance with the participation of a large number of international athletes. They were able not only to get a unique sports experience, but also to explore routes on two wheels and immerse themselves in the culture and hospitality of Armenia. We really hope that our tournament will attract even more participants in the future and will become a new stage in the development of cycling tourism in Armenia,” said Tatevik Avetisyan, head of The Ascend project Armenia.
The Ascend Armenia cycle Fest was organized by Impulse management company and Dilijan Development Foundation (DDF) as part of the Dilijan development program launched by Ruben Vardanyan and Veronika Zonabend in 2012.
The cycling tournament the Ascend Armenia Ultra Distance Bikepacking Race 2023 was held with the support of the Tourism Committee of the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Armenia, the Cycling Federation of Armenian, H. Hovnanian Family Foundation, Ride with GPS, Rodeo Adventure Lab, Jermuk Group, Armenia Wellness and Spa Hotel Jermuk, Jermuk Youth Centre, Wishup store, Bicycle shop, Bianchi Armenia, Kaghni Hotel Dsegh, Aregak cafe.