Tour of the Dragon

Tour of the Dragon is not a road bike race or a classic mountain bike race, nor it is a gravel grinder, because it doesn’t fit into any of the categories defined by the International Cycling Union. Since the distance of the race is 200+ kms, we would categorize it as an ultra-marathon mountain bike race on roads that happen to be extremely challenging.

Tour of the Dragon starts in Bumthang and travels 255 km over 4 mountain passes before finishing at the Changlingmethang parking in Thimphu. It is the toughest one-day mountain bike race in the world.

Registration Fees

National Registration Fee         : Nu. 7,000/-
SAARC Registration Fee            : USD 165/-
Expat Registration Fee               : USD 165/-
International Registration Fee: USD 250/-

*Please note that once registered, the fees are non-refundable, however you can participate in the next edition of the race. 

Registration Form

Participants Receive

  • Finisher’s medal for all finishers
  • Finisher’s certificate for all finishers
  • Participation certificate for all participants
  • T-shirt for all participants
  • Pre-race briefing in Bumthang
  • Bike and participant transportation from Thimphu to the start line in Bumthang (as needed)
  • Special awards to top finishers
  • Awards celebration at Changlingmethang Parking, Thimphu
  • Aid stations (aid station supplies will be announced before the race)
  • Roving medical support
  • Roving technical support
  • Sweep vehicle for participants who must pull out of the event, or who do not make cut-off times.

Tour of the Dragon Race Guidelines

Tentative program itinerary

31st August, 20201[Tuesday]
6:30 AM loading of bicycles on DCM truck(s) and participants should be seated in the bus(s) [Meeting point: Changlingmethang Parking]
7:00 AM Leave for Bumthang
8:00 PM Reach Bumthang

1st September, 2021 [Wednesday]
HRH Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck and entourage to arrive in Bumthang.

2nd September2021 [Thursday]
9:00 AM Gather at Chamkhar bus parking
9:45 AM – 12:30 PM Make a short excursion to Jambey Lhakhang and Kurje Lhakhang, followed by a short ride to Mebar Tsho and back.
1:00 PM Lunch at respective hotel
3:00-5:00 PM Riders briefing and an audience with HRH Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck [the exact time and venue will be announced]

3rd September, 2021 [Friday]
9:00 AM-1:00 PM Registration validation and race packet pick up in Bumthang
Venue: Mountain Resort
2:00-5:00 PM Race-bag drop

4th September, 2021 [Saturday]
12:00 AM Wake-up call
1:00 AM Report to start area, biking inspection and light breakfast for participants
2:00 AM RACE START (Flag off by Dasho Dzongdag)
3:00 AM Every rider is expected to cross Kiki La
7:30 AM Riders should cross Tshangkha by this time
9:00 AM Reach Chendepji
11:00 AM Reach Pele La
1:30 PM Riders should cross Wangdue check post
6:00 PM Final cut-off time at Dochula Pass. If you make it to Dochula by 6:00 PM you are allowed to continue to the finish line.
7:00 PM Awards ceremony at the Changlingmethang Parking, Thimphu


All awards will be given at the awards ceremony on the 5th of September, 2020 at 7:00 PM onward at Changlingmethang Parking, Thimphu.

Tour of the Dragon cash purse and additional prizes will be offered to participants as follows:

Men’s category:

1st   Nu. 150,000/-
2nd  Nu. 95,000/-
3rd   Nu. 75,000/-
4th   Gifts worth: Nu. 10,000/-
5th   Gifts worth: Nu. 10,000/-
6th   Gifts worth: Nu. 5,000/-
7th   Gifts worth: Nu. 3,000/-
8th   Gifts worth: Nu. 3,000/-
9th   Gifts worth: Nu. 3,000/-
10th Gifts worth: Nu. 3,000/-

Women’s category:

1st  Nu. 150,000/-
2nd Nu. 95,000/-
3rd  Nu. 75,000/-
4th Gifts worth: Nu. 10,000/-
5th Gifts worth: Nu. 10,000/-

Youngest rider to complete the race [must cross before cut-off time]: Nu. 10,000/-
Eldest rider to complete the race [must cross before cut-off time]: Nu. 10,000/-

Course Information

Tour of the Dragon starts in Bumthang, central Bhutan (2610 m, 8560 ft), and takes you to Thimphu across 4 mountain passes, or las as they are called in Dzongkha.

The riders follow the Bumthang Chhu (river in Dzongkha) for a couple of kilometers and then climb 6 km through blue pine forest to Kiki La at 2870 m (9420 ft). From there it is down to Nangar. Through more blue pine forest and agricultural land you follow a gentle road through Chumey and up to Gaytsha (2950 m, 9680 ft).

The road then climbs 7 km up through blue pine forest to Bong Bridge, and then gets a little steeper for about 5 km through mixed conifer and rhododendron forests and pastures until you reach Yotong La at 3430 m (11250 ft). From Yotong La it is a 29 kms downhill ride to Trongsa. The pass is dominated by fir and rhododendron forest, open pastures and rock outcrops. As you go down to Dorji Gonpa, which is almost halfway, firs give way to spruce and hemlock and mixed broadleaved forest dominated by birch and oaks and rhododendrons. Below Dorji Gonpa, the road passes though broadleaved forest and agricultural fields. There are some excellent viewpoints to see in Trongsa, including the dzong (fortress) and the extensive forests and agricultural fields beyond. Just before reaching Trongsa (2150 m, 7050 ft) you pass right below the Ta Dzong (a watchtower to guard the dzong from enemies).

From Trongsa the road descents gently for 7 km to the Bjee Zam bridge at 1900 m (6230 ft) and then climbs 6 km through broadleaved forest to a viewpoint from where the Trongsa Dzong seems just a stone’s throw away. The road continues climbing for another 10 km along cliffs and through broadleaved forests and agricultural settlements. At Tshangkha it passes the headquarters of the Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park. After reaching Tashiling, a few km further, most of the climbing is done. For the last 20 km you will only climb some 150 m (500 ft), but there are some ups and downs. As you near Chendebji, hemlock replaces broadleaved species on some of the ridges and in the valley. You pass Chendebji Chorten and a little later will reach Chendebji village (2430 m, 7970 ft).

The road climbs through mixed conifer forest past Nikachu bridge at Chazam and Rukubji to the small settlement of Longte. By this time most of the trees have been replaced by pastures and agricultural fields. Through these pastures dominated by dwarf bamboo you reach Pele La (3430 m, 11250 ft). You then continue your long descent through fir, birch, rhododendron forest and many small waterfalls to Wangdue Phodrang. After passing the village of Nobding, there is a single restaurant a further 12 km down and then a few shops at Teki Zampa another 15 km further. Just past here a new Japanese bridge spans the Dang Chhu. At Chuzomsa, there is a side road to an abandoned slate mine. After a long, almost flat stretch you reach Wangdue Phodrang.

From Wangdue Phodrang, you continue to Metshina (1410 m, 4625 ft). From Metshina, the distance to Dochula at 3150 m (10,330 ft) is 38.3 km and the race is all uphill, with an average slope of 5%  and a few short sections of up to 10%. You will pass Thinleygang (11 km), Lumitsawa (15km), Lampiri (28km), and a memorial chorten for traffic accident victims (32km). Thinleygang is the only place recognizable as a village, having a couple of shops and a BHU (Basic Health Unit). Racing 1700 m (5575 ft) uphill is as breathtaking as the views.

After Dochula, it’s all downhill to Thimphu at 2330 m (7640 ft), with a small climb only at the end to the Changlingmethang Parking.


Course Details

Start PointElevationEnd PointElevationHighest PointDistance
Jakar town2610 mGaytsha2950 mKiki La – 2870 m27 km
Gaytsha2950 mTrongsa2150 mYotong La – 3434 m41 km
Trongsa2150 mChendebji2430 mNear Chendebji – 2440 m43 km
Chendebji2430 mWangdue Phodrang1200 mPele La – 3430 m87 km
Wangdue Phodrang1200 mThimphu2330 mDochula – 3150 m70 km

Aid Stations

Aid stations are located approximately 20 km apart. Aid stations will feature water, fruit, and other  nutrition that will be announced prior to the race start. There will be mile markers at each aid station.

All riders are encouraged to carry a water bottle and any other necessary or needed personal food supplements between aid stations.

There will be six mobile aid cars roving along the route with food supplements, basic medical kit, and one technical personnel for minor bike repairs. You can get support at aid stations, but it is prudent not to count on the roving vehicles as it is impossible to know where they will be when you need them.


Traffic will be open to vehicles, but will be monitored by local police and transportation officers. Most of this route is on the national highway in Bhutan, so vehicles will be on the roads.


Medical personnel will be available at the start and finish line as well as roving on the course. There will be an ambulance on standby.


There will be intermittent and undisclosed checkpoints along the course where you will check in with timing personnel. You will be given your finish time at the awards ceremony.

** Riders need to cross Dochula Pass by 6 pm. If not, the sweep team will pick you up. After the cut-off time, all resources such as volunteers, marshals, aid stations and officials will not be available to riders who insist on completing the race after the cut-off time.

Day rooms will be provided at the end of the race for all the riders to wash up and refresh themselves before attending the awards ceremony.

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