Australian cyclist Jarrod Hughes has won stage one of the 4th annual Tour de Timor with the time of 3:08:34. Hughes led a breakaway from the main peloton within the first 20 kilometres of the race. He was joined briefly by riders Sharin Amir and Ashley Hayat but proved his mettle throughout the course by leading the small group and eventually drawing further away.
The beginning of the six-day International Mountain Bike race was witnessed by the President of the Republic, Taur Matan Ruak, who started the epic race in Tasi Tolu, Dili. The course followed the picturesque coastline 104 kilometres west to the border town of Mota Ain, which lies between Timor-Leste and the Indonesian border of West Timor.
Jarrod Hughes, from Newcastle in New South Wales said: “There was a bit of indecision in the bunch and the first breakaway at the first KOM went so I thought I’d have a bit of a go in the 2nd KOM but once I knew no one came with me, I kept going and it paid off. Fortune favours the brave, I suppose.”
Second place was taken by fellow Australian, Peter Kutschera, with the time of 3:12:22 and Sharin Amir of Malaysia, who was part of a large pack that crossed the line together.
Womens’s 2011 defending champion Peta Mullens came in at fifth place overall with the time of 3:12:35. Twelve minutes behind Mullens was Malaysian rider Masziyaton Mohd Radzi and Lisa Jacob. Timor-Leste’s national rider Jacinto da Costa was the first local rider to cross the line for his country with the time of 3:25:49.
King of the Mountain was also taken by Jarrod Hughes.
The fourth Tour de Timor promises to be the most varied of all the races so far for the riders. The route includes a split mix of two challenging hill climbing days, two road racing days and two mixed terrain days. Around 320 riders are expected to ride together in what is fast becoming Asia’s most notorious (and lucrative) mountain bike race. The race will be held in September from the 10th to the 15th.