Words: Rizal Hashim
LANGKAWI (Sept 30): Maxime Marotte of France made the perfect start to his Langkawi International Mountain Bike Challenge (LIMBC) 2013 campaign by winning the Maju Holdings Prologue Individual Time Trial on Monday.
The BH Brsuntour KMC rider clocked the fastest time of 5:02.868 over the 2.4km course to emerge the winner of the race named after LIMBC's platinum sponsor Maju Holdings Sdn Bhd.
In second place was Switzerland's Nicola Rohrbach with a 5:04.293 finish and Sweden's Emil Lindgren rode to third spot in 5:06.314. "The win comes as a big surprise as I was feeling unwell with stomach discomfort last night.
"I am really happy to have made a good start to this year's championship, and this victory will be mentally beneficial when the hard work begins in Tuesday's first stage," said Marotte.
The Frenchman attributed his prologue win to studying the course prior to the race.
"As a member of the French national relay team, I really love the short course races. I had gone through the course a few times earlier and studied the lines to be taken during the race. I am glad that my preparations paid off."
In the women's open, Italian Eva Lechner was in a class of her own to win the individual time trial convincingly. The Team Colnago Sudtirol rider won with a 5:36.889 finish, which was 5.2 seconds faster than second placed Lea Davison of the United States.
Davison, the LIMBC 2012 overall winner, went around the 2.4km course that started and ended at the Eagle Square in 5:42.089.
Nathalie Schneitter of Switzerland who bagged the women's title in 2011, completed the podium places with a time of 5:42.824.
"I am really happy to have made a good start and hope to continue performing well throughout the championship. "The weather in Langkawi the past several days is not as hot as it was during the 2012 race, so I hope to take advantage of it to post good results throughout the week," said Lechner.
Malaysia's top hope Masziyaton Mohd Radzi finished in an impressive ninth position after posting a 6:20.614 timing.
There was double joy for Italy when Marzio Deho of Cicli Olympia won the prologue in the men's Masters category with a 5:25.923 ride. He beat British rider Nicholas Craig (5:30.050) and the Netherlands' Patrick Jansen (5:50.142) to second and third spots respectively.
Top 10 results:
Maju holdings prologue 2.4km individual time trial
1. Maxime Marotte (Fra) BH Brsuntour KMC 5:02.868
2. Nicola Rohrbach (Sui) Goldwurst-Power/Stockli 5:04.293
3. Emil Lindgren (Swe) Giant Pro XC Team 5:06.304
4. Rourke Croeser (Rsa) Kargo Mountain Bike Team 5:08.742
5. Simon Gegenheimer (Ger) Ultra Rose Sport Racing 5:09.317
6. Stephane Tempier (Fra) BH Brsuntour KMC 5:09.867
7. Kohei Yamamoto (Jpn) Specialized Racing 5:10.524
8. Hamish Batchelor (Gbr) Fluid Fin 5:13.267
9. Robert Wardell (Gbr) Trek Factory Racing 5:13.662
10. Kristian Hynek (Cze) Elettroveneta-Corratec 5:17.413
1. Eva Lechner (Ita) Colnago Sudtirol 5:36.889
2. Lea Davison (Usa) Specialized Factory Racing 5:42.089
3. Nathalie Schneitter (Sui) Colnago Sudtirol 5:42.824
4. Maja Wloszczowska (Pol) Giant Pro XC Team 5:46.657
5. Blaza Klemencic (Slo) Calort Bike Team 5:51.420
6. Jovana Crnogorac (Srb) Serbia National Team 5:58.142
7. Elisabeth Sveum (Nor) Raufoss & Gjovik SK 6:02.717
8. Mariske Strauss (Rsa) Orange Monkey Pro Team 6:11.855
9. Masziyaton Mohd Radzi (Mas) Kedah SBS Giant 6:20.614
10. Adelheid Morath (Ger) Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team 6:24.501
1. Marzio Deho (Ita) Cicli Olympia 5:25.923
2. Nicholas Craig (Gbr) Scott 5:30.050
3. Patrick Jansen (Ned) Ten Tusscher 5:50.142
4. Anthony White (Gbr) Mt Zoom/Xcracer.com 5:55.588
5. Ton De Haan (Ned) WV Ede 5:58.975
6. Suriya Sangboon (Tha) Endurace 6:02.858
7. Mark McInnes (Aus) Progresive Coaching System 6:07.463
8. Prasoet Chitmart (Tha) Endurace 6:22.245
9. Andrew Paul Davison (Aus) Marathon MTB 6:41.789
10. Nor Mohamed Ismail (Mas) Twenty9er 6:48.843
Senior Men's Masters:
1. Mads Bodker (Den) Davinci Specialized 5:49.022
2. Deon Wilkins (Rsa) 6:15.622
3. Derek David Milne (Nzl) Nelson MTB Club 6:17.006
4. Craig Peacock (Aus) Chase Racing Team 6:31.122
5. Douglas John Sharland (Nzl) Nelson MTB Club 6:35.159
6. Trisit Chin Anan (Tha) Endurace 6:36.848
7. Jirawat Chulak (Tha) Endurace 6:39.680
8. John Ray Funk (Can) Dead Goat Racing 6:41.320
9. Charles Stander (Rsa) Concept Cyclery 6:42.330
10. Borlase Warren Douglas (Nzl) Fat Albert Racing Team 6:50.399