Road pros may set a new trend as defending champ Norris claims Stage 3
LANGKAWI, Oct 20, 2011 – The annual Langkawi International Mountainbike Challenge (LIMBC) may turn out to be a platform for top-class road professionals to swap the peloton with some off-road adventure after an arduous season on the road.
Two road aces invited to saddle up for LIMBC 2011 – the Vuelta runners-up Chris Froome and BMC Racing Team new acquisition Adam Blythe – could set the tone when they take part in tomorrow’s Stage 4 of the mountainbike event, a cross country King of the Hill with a summit finish from Langkawi Stadium to Gunung Raya, here.
“I think it will be good for professional road riders to take a break and try their hand at mountainbiking after a hectic and long season. We’ve already gotten some positive feedback from riders in Langkawi on the race. They seem to like the single track and course profile, saying that it’s one of the best they’ve taken part in.
“I would have competed in Langkawi if not for my commitment with Team Sky,” said Froome who enjoyed a breakthrough season with a second place finish in Spain last month.
Blythe who recently signed for Swiss-American outfit BMC Racing Team, joining Tour de France winner Cadel Evans, 2010 world champion Thor Hushovd and prolific winner Philippe Gilbert in the peloton, said:
“I think the biggest challenge for any European rider to compete here is the heat and humidity, but my first impression of the island is that it has a structure in place.” They were speaking to the local and foreign media at the Loaf Bakery & Bistro at Perdana Quay, Telaga Harbour in Pantai Kok, near here. Also present was LIMBC race organiser, Datuk Abdul Malik Mydin. Abdul Malik said: “LIMBC is only into its second year but we have with us here two world-class road cyclists, which I hope will set a new trend.”
Earlier men’s elite defending champion Lachlan Norris of Giant Australia claimed Stage 3 cross country Olympic format, winning by a 40-second margin over second placed Johnny Cattaneo of Full Dynamix. The top Aussie clocked 1 hour, 20mins 52.931s, followed closely by Cattaneo and Stage 2 winner, Karl Platt of Team Bulls in 1:21.28.451.
In the women’s elite, there was no stopping Swiss rider Nathalie Schneitter as she cruised to her third successive stage win, covering the six-lap race in 1:13.45.442, followed by her Colnago Farbe Sudtirol team mate, Vivienne Meyer and Jodie Willet. “From the start, both Vivienne and I wanted to remain in front because otherwise it would have been congested, having been flagged off together with the master and senior categories. I really enjoyed the course today, because it had some interesting climbs and downhill trail.
“But I’m a little bit wary of tomorrow’s race because climbing is not my forte. Our task is to remain in the fray before the steep ascent. Vivienne is a stronger climber, so our focus is to keep the overall lead,” said the Colnago Fabre Sudtirol cyclist.
LIMBC 2011 resumes tomorrow with the nerve-shredding King of the Mountain and cross country race which will end at the Gunung Raya Hill as Stage 4. The distance is 27.8km with the first half of the race mostly flat terrains before a steep climb to the finish line.
The race, organised by Human Voyage Sdn Bhd, is sponsored by Telekom Malaysia Berhad and Yayasan Al-Bukhary as the race’s gold sponsors, with Sapura Group, Genting Malaysia Berhad, Perdana University, Berjaya Corporation, AmBank Group, Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) and ALM Group Sdn Bhd as silver sponsors. AmBank Group is also the Official Bank.
The event is supported by KTM Berhad and the Malaysian Conventions and Exhibitions Bureau (MyCEB), with Hotel Bayview Langkawi as the official hotel. Mutiara Smart Computing Sdn Bhd is the official ICT support partner.
Daily highlights of the event is shown on RTM’s TV1 at 12.00 midnight.
Men’s Elite (8 laps):
1. Lachlan Norris (Australia – Giant Global Factory Off-Road Team) 1:20.52.931;
2. Johnny Cattaneo (Italy – Full-Dynamix) 1:21.28.439;
3. Karl Platt (Germany – Team Bulls) 1:21.28.451;
4. Wolciech Halejak (Poland – Mroz Activejet) 1:23.00.038;
5. Jason Sager (USA – Team Jamis) 1:23.09.381;
6. Burry Stander (South Africa – team Specialized) 1:23.16.224;
7. Szilard Buruczki (Hungary) 1:23.21.637;
8. Thomas Dietsch (France – Team Bulls) 1:23.26.388;
9. Bartosz Banach (Poland – Mroz-Activejet) 1:23.40.779;
10. Kohei Yamamoto (Japan – Bridgestone Anchor) 1:24.18.945;
Women’s Elite (6 laps):
1. Nathalie Schneitter (Switzerland – Colnago Farbe Sudtirol) 1:13.45.442;
2. Vivienne Meyer (Switzerland – Colnago Farbe Sudtirol) 1:13.46.249;
3. Jodie Willet (Australia) 1:14.31.141;
4. Naomi Hansen (Australia – Noosa Bike Shop) 1:17.50.385;
5. Michela Benzoni (Italy – Lissone) 1:18.35.867;
6. Katherine O’Shea (Australia) 1:18.41.184;
7. Masziyaton Mohd Radzi (Malaysia – Kedah) 1:20.10.090;
8. Eszter Dosa (Hungary) 1:20.42.383;
9. Ikumi Tajika (Japan) 1:22.38.484;
10. Yolande Speedy (South Africa – MTN Qhubeka) 1:22.58.724;
Master (6 laps):
1. Marzio Deho (Italy – Team Olympia) 1:07.27.485;
2. Simon Knowles (Australia) 1:12.12.934;
3. Anthony White (United Kingdom – Canondale Mountzoom Racing) 1:12.47.110;
4. Malcolm McLeod (New Zealand – R and R Sport) 1:14.38.695;
5. Pierre Arnaud Le Magnain (France) 1:18.42.690;
6. Prasert Chimart (Thailand – Phuket Beach Boy) 1:18.44.437;
7. Azizan Manaf (Malaysia – Giant) 1:18.45.105;
8. Nor Effandy Rosli (Malaysia) 1:20.12.479;
9. Alvin Lim (Singapore – Entro MTB team) 1:1:20.13.474;
10. Andrew Paul Davison (Australia) 1:20.38.002.
Senior (6 laps):
1. Craig Peacock (Australia – MTBA) 1:12.59.751;
2. Lieb Loots (South Africa – Squirt) 1:15.37.906;
3. John Edwin Ellison (Australia – Adelaide MTB) 1:17.14.721;
4. John Henderson (Australia – Anytime Fitness MTB team) 1:18.27.971;
5. John Funk (Canada – Dead Goat) 1:27.48.618