LANGKAWI (Oct 15, 2012): It was a sweet maiden victory for Florian Vogel at the Men Open Prologue Individual Time Trial at Langkawi International Mountain Bike Challenge 2012 (LIMBC). The Scott Swisspower rider was beaming with joy after learning that he clocked the fastest time of 5:08.29 in the 2.4km track at Dataran Legenda today. “I will hang on to this stage lead for as long as I could. I won’t give it up easily since this is my first stage victory of any competition in my career,” said Vogel to reporters after the prize winning ceremony. His career highlight was finishing third at the World Championship, Mountainbike XC, Canberra and seeing action at the Olympic Games. The beaming Swiss couldn’t hide his delight wearing the yellow jersey despite the humid condition and hot afternoon in Langkawi.“I will try to protect my lead for tomorrow’s Stage 1 challenge. The humidity and weather won’t be easy for anyone,” he said.
For the Women Open winner Eva Lechner from Team Colnago Sudtirol who clocked 5:51.272, the official result at the end caught her by surprise. “I thought I was the third fastest after I learned my teammate Nathalie (Schneitter) clocked better time than me. But later, when the official result came out, I am so happy,” said the Italian lass who is considered among the favourites to challenge for the women’s title. However, Eva considered the track and humidity condition could propel her in LIMBC. “I think I am doing well and I feel good. I just need to maintain my pace and work out good strategy since I have my respect for my teammate Nathalie and other competitors,” said Lechner.
Malaysia’s best result for today came from Masziyaton Mohd Radzi at 10th place clocking 7:04.334 in Women Open and Anuar Manan who only to manage with a time of 5:54.24, clinching 17th place out of 74 competitors in Men Open respectively.
LIMBC Stage 1 would see the riders to compete in a grueling 65km track around the legendary island, starting and finishing at Lagenda Park.
Langkawi (Oct 16, 2012): Stage 1, (day 2) of Langkawi International Mountain Bike Challenge (LIMBC) 2012 saw new leaders to wear the yellow jersey in the Men’s Open and Women’s Open categories. World Cup fifth-place Fabian Giger of Rabobank-Giant took the yellow jersey as the first rider to cross the finishing line of LIMBC Stage 1 at Eagle’s Square today. The Swiss rider from Team Rabobank-Giant clocked 2:23:07.964 ahead Kristian Hynek of Ceska Sporitelna Specialized and defending champion Karl Platt from Team Bulls. Fresh from his victory in a Cross Country World Cup test event in Guiyang, China, Giger used his new XTC Advanced SL 29er bicycle today to win the 65km Langkawi’s Round Island course. Billed as one of the challenge’s favourites, he was dominant from the start by controlling the pace ahead of the leading pack and finished the race with 29.556 seconds advantage for tomorrow’s Stage 2 duel ahead of Hynek who finished with a rear punctured tyre in the last 3km today.
“I am happy it worked pretty well for me after we have to go through the muddy and slippery track. Me and my teammates were very much into the lead in the jungle. Now, my mind is set for tomorrow’s race,” said Giger to the reporters after the prize giving ceremony. Asked about his strategy for Stage 2, he said: “I will try my best to keep the yellow jersey. Tomorrow is another day and I predict it will be a close fight.”
In the Women’s Open, Lea Davidson from Team Specialized clinched the pink jersey after a close battle with three riders in the final section. She managed to surge ahead of defending champion Nathalie Schneitter of Colnago Sudtirol and third-placed Janka Stevkova who had to be satisfied with third placing due to tyre puncture occurred during the last mile. Yesterday’s prologue winner, Eva Lechner was also left to lament her bad luck when the Italian lass suffered a leg cramp during the four-rider battle towards the end.
“It was a close fight. We exchanged position often during the race right from the start. I am so happy to sprint ahead three of my competitors and it is important for me to win it today. I would certainly have to ride much better for tomorrow,” said Davidson, who crossed the line with 3:07:12.385.
Meanwhile, Malaysia’s best finishes were Masziyaton Binti Mohd Radzi with 10 th placing in the Women’s Open and Fauzan Ahmad Lutfi who made a decent outing against world class competitors by finishing 13th in the Men’s Open.
Australians Jenni King (Anytime Fitness/Trek) is placed 9th in the Open Womens leading into the second stage.
Tomorrow’s Stage 2 is a 45km race from East to West Langkawi starting from Lagenda Park, followed by a gruelling Stage 3, the 60km Langkawi Marathon. Stage 4 is an Olympic distance Cross Country race around Langkawi GeoPark followed by Stage 5, a stunning beach front finale around a short circuit at Pantai Kok.
For all results check out the LIMBC 2012 website