Shahrin Amir is the first Malaysian to win the 4th Annual Tour de Timor after a hard and fast ride 56.53-kilometres down the mountain from the town of Gleno and east along the main coastal road into Dili to cross the finish line at Tasi Tolu.
Cheering Amir on at the spectacular finish was former President, José Ramos-Horta, who initiated the six-day international Mountain Bike Race along with hundreds of locals as Amir claimed the Open Men’s US$10,000 first prize money.
A hot and dusty Shahrin Amir said: “I am very happy, this is the first time a Malaysian has won the Tour de Timor. Hopefully next year we will have more sponsorship so that we can have more Malaysian teams competing.”
Despite the mercifully short route down the mountain from Gleno into Dili, riders still faced a challenging start with several steep climbs to the summit and the community of Bazartete. The road ranged between dirt and bitumen with several sharp turns on the descent.
The US$1,000 King of the Mountain prize was won by Australia’s Jarrod Hughes four points clear of Shahrin Amir: the two riders had been battling it out all week. Hughes also won the sixth and final Stage of the tour.
In a very strong finish Women’s defending champion, Peta Mullens retained the Pink Jersey and her title as the Open Women’s champion. Mullens kept pace with the top male riders throughout the race, which increased respect for her from her fellow riders, and made her popular with the local spectators.
In the Timor-Leste category that which specifically encourages local riders to compete on their home turf, the Antonio Martens won the Men’s prize money of $3,000, and Francellna Cabral won the Open Women’s prize money of $3,000.
The 4th Tour de Timor was the most varied of all the races so far for the riders. The route included a split mix of two challenging hill climbing days, two road racing days and two mixed terrain days. 310 riders participated in what is fast becoming Asia’s most notorious (and lucrative) mountain bike race.
Visit the official website: www.tourdetimor.com for more info.