SriLankan Airlines, in its continuous endeavour to promote Sri Lanka as a sought-after tourist destination among the niche travellers, organizes ‘Ride Sri Lanka 2023,’ a cross country cycling tour with a star-studded rider line-up from across the world.
‘Ride Sri Lanka 2023’ was flagged off from Jetwing Jaffna on January 23rd, and will be reaching Galle on January 28th, passing the island’s most picturesque and diverse terrain, thus portraying the country’s stature as a destination for adventure and endurance tourism. Accordingly, the tour will pass through towns that are home to many ecological and cultural attractions such as Jaffna, Mannar, Anuradhapura, Sigiriya, Ramboda, Nuwara Eliya, Ella, Thissamaharama and Galle, with the seventh day dedicated to a tour around Colombo. This is also the first time in the country’s history that Jaffna has been chosen as the starting point of an international event of this calibre, thus bringing in the much-needed spotlight for the country’s vibrant North.
SriLankan Airlines, Chief Executive Officer, Richard Nuttall said, “As a leading promotor of destination Sri Lanka, we have embarked on many initiatives to project the country as an appealing backdrop, not just for an ideal holiday, but also for adventure, sports, wellness, and endurance activities. Whilst our pristine beaches, wildlife and inherent hospitality continue to charm the tourist, our intention is to take the message across the globe that, Sri Lanka still has much more to offer, and now is the ideal time to visit the country. This philosophy of taking Sri Lanka to the world is well-complemented by our extensive network, allowing us to provide seamless connectivity to the discerning leisure travellers across the Europe, Middle East, Indian Subcontinent, Asia Pacific and Australia into Sri Lanka.”
Over 15 international riders have arrived in the country to take part in the tour and accompanying them are a range of international media and content outlets specialized in cycling. Among the riders are Cory Wallace, the current and four times World Solo 24HR Champion and two times Canadian Marathon Champ, who races for the Kona Factory Team out of Canada; Jason English, elite Australian mountain biker and seven times 24HR Solo MTB World Champ; Yuki Ikeda who currently races for Topeak-Ergon Racing Team, USA and represents Japan for the UCI MTB Marathon World Championships every year since 2011; Karsten Madsen, who is five times Xterra Major title winner and three times National Champion; Matt Lieto, an IRONMAN Gravel Cyclist, Team Amani from Africa; and Imogen Smith, an Australian Olympian, to name a few. SriLankan Airlines partners with the renowned world body, Mountain Biking Worldwide in this endeavour, and is aptly supported by many of the country’s hospitality and logistics partners.