First enduro event in Asia, Held in Bukit Kiara, Kuala Lumpur. Just a stones throw from a bustling city center are some of the best trails Malaysia has to offer. It caters for everyone, all the way from riders new to the sport to even downhill riders who have their own designated dh trails. This is reflected in the variety of bikes and riders that can be seen frequenting the trails there, all the way from the light carbon XC hard tails to full on DH sleds.
Organizers put together a lovely set of 5 stages which they would later admit played into the hands of the more dh orientated riders. The 5 stages combined to give a total of 740m vertical elevation drop over 7.7km of trails. Total ground covered for the whole event is just shy of 20km with most riders taking between 3-4hrs to complete the course.
Due to time constraints at work I only had one day to practice, it was the same for Ian Chin, we went up before the prologue to check out the tracks and continued practice in the evening. Big thanks to fellow Banshee rider Zure for showing us around and passing on some local knowledge along the way. Me and Ian completed all 5 tracks on Saturday, something we would regret on Sunday morning, legs were aching badly. Prologue, local guy Ronan was on top, shocker was in second place, Ian Chin just 2 seconds back. Zure was steady in 4th, I on the other hand had a front flat 1/3rd of the way in putting me 3 minutes back from the top guys.
Pic by Ming Hui
Race day, skies were gloomy in the morning threatening to rain. Luckily it held out, I know some of the locals were praying for rain, I wasn't fussed either way just wasn't looking forward going home after a muddy race. I was lucky to start in the first wave along with the other fast boys, also meant getting less of the killer mid day heat. Me and Ian stayed together throughout the race, keeping track of time on the liaison segments using up as much time as possible. (For the more geeky, check out my strava record of the race, heart rate graph says it all). Not so much a tactic but mainly due to our legs being shot from the day before, was a bit risky as riders from later starting waves were catching up.
Stage 1 and 2 were over quickly, the flats seemed to last too long and the climbs seemed bigger. Collided with another rider on stage 1 landing a drop, shit happens, luckily no one was hurt. Stage 3 was my favorite, except the climb at the start, rest of the track was corners top to bottom, small berms, flat corners, just pure bliss. Stage 4 and 5 were the important ones, the long ones. I was betting that most riders would push all out from the get go and there was more time to be gained in the last two stages when others start to tire. Stage 4 was rough, happy I didn't get a flat, legs were feeling better and coming right. Getting up to stage 5 was tough, took a slow walk up and had just a few minutes left of the time limit when reaching the top. I was getting sick of Ian Chin catching up with me on the fast few stages so insisted he went first on this last one. He had some bad luck and snapped his chain about 1/4 of the way in. I didn't catch him till the last climb and even then he didn't hold me up. Took us a leisurely 4 hours to complete the course.
Organizers didn't announce any results till podium time, Ian was feeling crap with his broken chain, I knew I was pretty crap on the pedaling, didn't think blasting it on the dh sections would have made up enough time. Stages 1-3 were a mix up between Ronan, Ian and Zure. Ronan suffered a mechanical in Stage 4 otherwise was looking very strong for the overall. Stage 5 was an extension of the prologue stage, Ronan showing his dominance again and stomping down an amazing time there, Zure in second and Me in third. Ian Chin still 4th with a broken chain, the boy is quick on the hike a bike sections! Was quite a shock when it was announced that I came 3rd overall as I only podiumed in one stage, only later did I learn my results, 6th, 6th, 5th , 6th and 3rd. No surprise Zure second overall with a 4th, 3rd, 9th, 3rd and 2nd. Ian the upset for the day shocking all the locals, 1st, 1st, 6th, 1st and 4th taking the overall win.
At the Shaolin trail. PIC BY RUJ KRUB
Who said downhill riders can't pedal!
All in all its been a great come back from injury for me, raced national championships 3 weeks ago and came in 2nd there, mountain biking gods have been shining down on me. It's been a long long year away from bikes, extremely happy to be back is an understatement. Up next is Asia Pacific Downhill Challenge in Bali, hopefully get a bit more strength back before that race, its going to be a pretty full on track.
Adam's scaphoid fracture
Strava ride record: