|PHUKET, THAILAND – Thanyapura Phuket has recently launched a Cycling Academy to be headed up by former Olympian and Tour de France star Nick Gates, who will also be in charge of a just-announced training camp ahead of April’s inaugural Thanyapura Gran Fondo bicycle road race featuring ex-champion sprinter Baden Cooke.Thanyapura Chief Executive Officer Mr Philipp Graf von Hardenberg said appointing Mr Gates Director of the Cycling Academy meant it would deliver the highest possible quality for cyclists of all levels.”The Cycling Academy is an extremely impressive addition to our host of international-standard sports facilities and programmes,” he said. “Given the increasing popularity of cycling, we realised the need to cater to that demand by providing elite coaches and facilities for cyclists, as well as a pristine environment at the foothills of a national park, which features numerous scenic and challenging training opportunities.”
The Gran Fondo is a long-distance road bicycle race in which riders are individually chip timed and have the right of way at all intersections. Thanyapura Gran Fondo will feature Tour de France green jersey winner and former Australian national team ‘hard man’ Baden Cooke.
Cooke, who retired in 2013, was a veteran of six Tour de France campaigns and competed in the 2004 Olympics. At the 2003 Tour de France, he won the sprinters points classification competition green jersey by two points in a tight finish on the final stage in Paris.
“To have someone like Baden competing in our first Gran Fondo is extremely exciting,” Mr Graf von Hardenberg said. “It instantly adds prestige to the event and along with the acquisition of Nick, it shows how serious we are about our cycling program. This is a very strong foundation on which to build it.”
To mark the milestone of the inaugural race, riders of all ability will get the chance to be mentored by Mr Gates – a former director of renowned Danish outfit Team Saxo Bank – at an innovative training camp ahead of the inaugural Thanyapura Gran Fondo on 19 April 2015. Mr Gates, an ex-national champion in cycling and triathlon, had an illustrious 14-year professional cycling career highlighted by 35 victories, three Tour de France rides and five world championship campaigns.
The training camp consists of two packages. The eight-night deal from 11-19 April is THB 34,900 (twin/person) and THB 42,900 (single). The two-night deal from 17-19 April is THB 12,900 [twin/person) and THB 14,900 (single). Both are inclusive of entry into the Thanyapura Gran Fondo and a dinner featuring special guests. Entry into the Gran Fondo only is THB 2,800.
The packages are also inclusive of a full-board meal at Thanyapura’s DiVine Restaurant; a welcome kit; a consultancy upon arrival; unlimited group classes (includes swim, bike, run, yoga, spinning, Muay Thai, mind training, boot camp and sports science test); gym training (private group class); and a round-trip airport transfer. Daytime kid’s activities are available, as is the spa and health clinic.
Also marking the Cycling Academy launch are a series of packages based on a year-round Gates-designed training camp and supported by elite sports scientists. The six-day/five-night deal ranges from THB 54,500 to THB 69,500 (one person) and THB 98,100 to THB 113,100 (two persons), while the eight-day/seven-night deal ranges from THB 66,500 to THB 87,500 and THB 118,100 to THB 139,100.
The packages include breakfast, lunch and dinner at DiVine; a welcome kit; a consultancy upon arrival; unlimited group classes (includes swim, bike and run); one-on-one training with a certified coach; one-on-one bike strength and conditioning; a sports massage; and a round-trip transfer.
In conjunction with the cycling packages, Thanyapura is offering base packages for all athletes and sports over three days/two nights, five days/four nights and eight days/seven nights. They range from THB 13,200 to THB 81,200 and include breakfast, lunch and dinner at DiVine, a consultancy upon arrival, unlimited group classes (includes swim, bike, run, yoga, spinning and Muay Thai) and a round trip airport transfer.
Thanyapura is a sprawling 23-hectare venue boasting international-standard coaches, sports scientists, medical and health practitioners, physiotherapists and chiropractors. Its facilities include a 77-room sports hotel, a 38-room boutique hotel and DiVine Restaurant and Cellar, where an extensive range of regionally grown organic food underpins the menu. Thanyapura is close to Phuket International Airport and the island’s famed beaches.