Posted by Editoress on 08/2/12
The course for this year's Langkawi International Mountainbike Challenge (LIMBC) on Oct 15-20, has been described as unique, offering a combination of highly technical terrain with the natural jungles of Langkawi as a spectacular backdrop.
LIMBC technical consultant Simon Burney, on his second trip to the islands to inspect the course, said the six-day race would pose a stiff challenge to the riders.
“We are in the midst of finding new things as the basis for our final layout of the actual course but, in general, it's a really great course. It offers many unique features and a variety of challenges,” said Burney, who is also a UCI Technical Delegate and the UCI Sports Coordinator for Cross Country Mountain Bike.
Burney added a successful LIMBC 2012 would be crucial in strengthening Langkawi's bid to host one round of the UCI MTB Marathon Series in 2013 or 2014.
“This year's race will come under great scrutiny. Among the technical considerations and the overall organisation of the race we hope to see a number of the world's top 20 riders participating,” said Burney.
Following the successful back-to-back editions of LIMBC in 2010 and 2011, race organisers Human Voyage is aiming to bring one round of the UCI MTB Marathon series and the UCI MTB World Championships to Langkawi in the near future.
Asia has yet to stage any round of the major UCI Mountain Bike series. The 2012 UCI World Cup Cross Country Series and UCI Marathon MTB Series has so far visited venues in South Africa, Belgium, Czech Republic, Costa Rica, UK, Italy, France, Croatia, Canada and USA, with remaining rounds in Latvia, Switzerland and Austria.
Burney was accompanied by eight-time British champion and former Olympian, Nick Craig, who was excited to be given the privilege to test the Langkawi course.
“Although some parts of the course are still under construction, my impression is that it offers a very nice technical terrain, with dirt roads and a jungle setting thrown into the mix.”
“The jungle is a big difference compared to the other races around the world. But it is very exciting indeed, with the opportunity of riding around nature too good to miss,” said Craig, one of only two cyclists in history to compete in both the Men's Road Race and the Men's Cross-Country Mountain Bike at the same Olympic Games, which he did in Sydney 2000. The only other cyclist to accomplish the feat was Thomas Frischknecht of Switzerland at the 1996 Atlanta Games.
This year's LIMBC will lead off on Monday, October 15th with a prologue - an individual time trial of 2.4 kilometres at the Eagle Square, followed by Stage 1, a 65 kilometre round the island race.
Stage 2 is a 45 kilometre race from East to West Langkawi, followed by a gruelling Stage 3, the 87 kilometre 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.
LIMBC 2012 offers a total prize money of $125,000 US, and is open to four categories of rider - Male Open (ages 19-39 years), Female Open (ages 19 years and above), Masters Men (ages 40-49 years) and Senior Masters Men (50 years and above).
In 2011, Germany's Karl Platt and Switzerland's Nathalie Schneitter clinched the overall victory in the men's elite and women's elite categories, respectively.
Visit www.mtbmalaysia.com for information and registration.
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