Bukit Kiara, September 22, 2013 – Sweat. Speed. Smiles. 159 participants, representing 19 countries, with an average age of 35, braved five race stages, across 16km of Asia’s finest jungle single track trails, that included technical downhill sections, a flowing series of jumps and 900 metres of energy sapping climbing. 1,000 litres of Spritzer water, 600 cans of Redbull, 900 Ayam Brand sandwiches, despite over 20 bike mechanical emergencies and 85% of riders finished the race, grinning from ear to ear.
In the men’s category, Ian Chin topped an all-Malaysian podium, which featured fellow Penang based shredders Alzure Mahshar and Adam Faroze. Jonie Sua took home the honours in the female category, leading from the front having also won Saturday’s time trial stage.
Raising the bar for Asian mountain biking, Enduro Asia MTB follows the global standards outlined by the Enduro World Series (EWS). Aiming to unite riders and racers under one fun, action orientated format, Malaysia’s first enduro race was won by a downhill rider racing a modified cross country trail bike. Weekend warriors rode with seasoned professionals on a race course designed by riders for riders.
According to Enduro Asia MTB Race Organiser, Sam Middlehurst, the response to the first Enduro mountain biking race in Malaysia exceeded the organiser’s expectations in terms of number of participants, take up by local riders (over 50% of riders), and support from sponsors and spectators.
“Enduro is the fastest growing mountain biking discipline globally, and we are proud to be bringing this race format to the Asian riding community. Our aim is to set a new standard for events in the region, and we believe that through the Bukit Kiara Enduro we have demonstrated that we are able to do this. It was great to see three Malaysian riders topping the podium; they rode a fast race, and did the local riding community proud. Support from sponsors and spectators has been amazing, and we are looking forward to our next race, where we will continue to strive to create events that invigorate and inspire people to have fun”, Mr Middlehurst said.
Ian Chin, a 31 year old engineer and former Malaysian national downhill racer who considers himself a weekend rider came out tops across all categories to be named Asia’s Best Trail Rider. “I went in with minimum expectations as I haven’t raced professionally in a long time. I enjoyed the Enduro race format that allows you to spend the whole day riding and is less tense than downhill biking, with more opportunities to socialise with other riders. I’m looking forward to the next Enduro event”, said Chin.
Mr Middlehurst added, “A big thanks goes to Jalan Landscape Negara (JLN) for allowing us access to Bukit Kiara, to the Trails Association of Selangor and Kuala Lumpur (TRAKS) for ensuring that the trails were in mint condition for the riders, and to all of our volunteers who did a fantastic job to provide a safe, welcoming racing environment.”
Look out for future announcements about Enduro Asia MTB’s next event, when the search for Asia’s best trail rider will continue, with Ian Chin defending the title for Penang and Malaysia.
Words: Sam Middlehurst | Photos: Greg Thistlethwait