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Over 160 mountain bikers braved the sweltering heat of over 33 Celsius, to take part in the Action Asia XC Mountain bike series. But racers were concerned about the number of hikers and call on the government for more trails 

RACERS REVIEWS

PIERRE LeMagnan Definitely too many Hikers
on the trail, I wonder whether this was a conspiracy to bring many people on the trail on a race day !!!

Hiker behavior : some got scared, some cheered us up, i did not have any bad behavior from hiker, but it could have happen and would be almost understandable ! Imagine you are 60 Years old, walking quietly along the path and you suddenly hear somebody yelling at you " NG GOI, NG GOI......HOP HOP HOP...." I would be really pissed that nobody told me there was a race and that it is unsuitable to hike there in the morning !!

We are lucky no accidents or injuries happened, I recommande trail should be close to Biker during race as it is anywhere in the world !!!  AFCD should enforce this rule !!! This is a safety issue and they should be responsable for it !!!

On race side : Great atmosphere, Thanks for Kenneth for being there, hand over the flyer, giving me support, I think this is a great way to extend HKMBA more the local Chinese riders, Kenneth seem to know everybody, it is really a great asset !!!

Thanks for the solidarity of the SRAM Rep who gave me a QUICKLINK and refused money when I offered to compensate him !! This is really sporty from Him

Good spirit during the race, unlucky I broke the Chain, I would have loved to give a victory to HKMBA, maybe next race !!!

TOM McGuinness It was plainly too hot which is probably why I feel fine today.

I was already sapped about the start of the actual XC part of the race and then it was more of a fight to stay cool than with the course.

I did not enjoy seeing the hiker groups and I was much more tentative with my speed around the corners. It was plainly visible in their faces that they were annoyed with the race spoiling their Sunday hike.

Some road riding is inevitable in any race, but this course is dominated by it. The course will have to change before I return to race there again.

The winner finishing 45km in 2.16 for an average speed of 20km/hr is crazy fast for an MTB race in HK!!

ED Cluer The heat was a big issue and I evidently didn't cope as well as I might have hoped given the completely debilitating groin cramps in both legs with 1km to go. Hope no one got a photo of me trying to descend like John Wayne as the mere action of clipping into my pedals sent my legs into spasm! Gutted to lose 2 places as a result.

In terms of the course i will take tarmac over steps / hike a bike any day even if it isn't ideal. It does at least provide some respite to grab a bar / gel on the go between laps. Given the few options we have for race courses in HK I think it's acceptable as a course. Also, if you speak to or ride with the Chinese guys who are really up there, this is where they make up the most time, by running the steps and having a great power to weight ratio on the climbs irrespective of tarmac or dirt.

As for hikers in my opinion the course has to be closed to them to be safe for all (easier said than done I know). Also, Glen was poked by a hikers stick and they clearly hadn't been briefed on what to expect as there was a lot of surprise in their responses to my 'Jo San'. It's a hard line to follow between politeness / speed and the desire to actually maintain your speed. Would the marathon runners like it if they had cycle commuters on their course? Not good for all. On the positive side I did receive some encouragement from a few hikers and the start finish atmosphere was good.

MARK leeper I had a great time - apart from losing my chain (and all the momentum) on the first hill! Losing valuable time. And also from the suffering imposed by a couple of Chinese riders chasing me down at the end of the 3rd lap.

 The weather was hot, but my slower start might have helped a bit-  I didn't really feel it until the sun heated up near to 11 o'clock.

 The trail was fast and the walkers seemed happy enough - a bit taken aback by our speed at times, but they generally seemed to see the riding as part of their Sunday experience. (Just my impression - I could be proven wrong on this, if we get the all-too-possible complaints - and certainly, there were one or two gripes that I heard the previous two weeks while we were training on this trail.)

 Using Tai Lam is a maximal risk for hiker-biker conflict -there is no doubt about this - but I don't know how to avoid Tai Lam: I agree with Ed that it is an acceptable course, given the lack of alternatives in HK.

NIKOLA I thoroughly enjoyed it, the support was great, everyone were great and encouraging and I was lucky not to bump in to any hikers.

One thing I would say, is that they should start earlier in the morning.  All the other races I participate in start a good two hours before that, so heat is not so much of an issue.  I was surprised at the late start and really felt for you guys doing three loops.  Also, if it were possible, having a water station (both drinking and for cooling) would be ideal at the waterfall – but I know that takes willing volunteers and is always a challenge

The competition was hot as Hong Kong’s top riders battled it out in the furnace like heat. The race lead changed several times, but it was the hot weather training of Cheng Chak Shing’s that had him blasting by the finish line in a time of 2 hours 16 minutes 10 seconds.

"Oh it was hot and tough and my outdoor training in the heat helped me battle against these guys who obviously have been training harder for this coming season.", said winner Cheng Chak Shing.

After a slow start last years overall series winner Cheng Cheuk Chun, managed to make up some ground over the last 30km to take 2nd in 2 hours 18 minutes 13 seconds.

"Hot, hot, hot today.” said Cheuk Chun “It’s great to see so many other riders getting so fast. Let’s hope AFCD gives us more trails in the future to race on"

Howard Tsang a local fitness trainer snuck into 3rd just pushing past Pete Buffon by 8 seconds, finishing in 2 hours 21 minutes 22 seconds.

"This is a great course with 6 km out of the 15 km loop made of cement, but AFCD could easily open more unused trails, if they really wanted to as nobody was using them today. Why can’t AFCD give permission to Action Asia who only uses the area 2 times a year for races, or construct new trails for bikers, we’ve been waiting for years" said Tsang growing frustrated like many bikers who’ve been waiting years for new trails to be developed for the growing Hong Kong mountain bike population.

Last years overall womens champion Hong Kong Police women Sean Ho continued her winning streak taking the overall women’s 45km race in 2 hours 47 minutes and 29 seconds.

"The weather was brutal. What can I say? It’s great that someone like Action Asia helps put these races on, but the Hong Kong government could do some much more for biking in Hong Kong as it’s not safe to ride on public roads and we need more trails." said Ho.

The race was also the debut of the HKMBA racing team, sporting new racing kit, many of which took podium positions. But it was in the Men’s over 45 category that saw a clean sweep. Chairman Bob Smith finished in 2 hours 32 minutes and 2 seconds, closely followed by Mark Leeper to take second and Peter Smith followed in third.

“The weather was hot, but my slower start might have helped a bit… I didn't really feel it until the sun heated up near to 11 o'clock.” Said Leeper. “The trail was fast and the hikers seemed happy enough… a bit taken aback by our speed at times, but they generally seemed to see the riding as part of their Sunday experience.” He continued.

In Hong Kong only 10 trails are legal for mountain biking out of more than a 1000Ks that are available. 5 of the 10 are dangerous and unsuitable for biking according to most mountain bikers that raced on Sunday. “It would be nice to find some more trails to race on in HK", said winner Cheng Chak Shing.

One cause for concern by many of the riders was the number of hikers on the trail. One competitor was even struck by a hiker with a walking stick as he rode by. Many hikers were unaware that a race was taking place that day and would have done another hike if they had known said one elderly man, but he did rather enjoy seeing the youngsters going fast downhill.

“We are lucky their were no accidents or injuries happened, I recommend the trail be closed to hikers during a race as it is anywhere else in the world !!! AFCD should enforce this rule. This is a safety issue.” Said Pierre Lemagnan

“Would the marathon runners like it if they had cycle commuters on their course? Not good for all. On a positive side I did receive some encouragement from a few hikers and the start finish atmosphere was good.” Said Ed Cluer

HKMBA and race organizers are hoping that the government will see the tremendous growth in mountain biking and open more trails at least for racing and one-off events to begin with, and hopefully the public soon who have been waiting years.

The Action Asia XC Mountain Bike series is available for individuals and relay teams of 2 with the 3rd race of the series Oct 18th at Chi Ma Wan and 4th final points series race at Lamma Nov 29 to determine the overall winners of the series in each age group category.

More information on the series can be found at www.actionasiaevents.com.

 

Tai Lam Chung Sept 20 2009 RESULTS

亞洲動感越野單車賽 

45 km Category
Top 3 Overall Men

1. 201 Cheng Chak Shing 鄭澤誠 2:16:10
2. 202 Cheng Cheuk Chun 鄭卓雋 2:18:13
3. 217 Tsang Chi Kong Howard 曾志剛2:21:22

Top 3 Overall Women

1. 277 Sean Ho 何潔瑩 2:47:29
2. 276 Lin Ying 林瑩 3:01:35
3. 204 Vera Goodwin 3:21:02

Top 3 Men 18-29
1. 201 Cheng Chak Shing 鄭澤誠 2:16:10
2. 202 Cheng Cheuk Chun 鄭卓雋 2:18:13
3. 209 Ken Sung 宋永健 2:23:43

Top 3 Men 30-34
1. 217 Tsang Chi Kong Howard 曾志剛2:21:22
2. 218 Jeremy Ritcey 2:27:59
3. 220 Martin Hill 2:33:27

Top 3 Men 35-39
1. 233 Pete Buffon 2:22:49
2. 232 Clinton Leong 2:50:38
3. 225 Andre Aballea 2:54:55

Top 3 Men 40-44
1. 243 Pierre le Magnan 2:24:14
2. 237 Jeff Chan 陳瑞生 2:25:10
3. 250 Greg Toole 22927

Top 3 Men 45-49
1. 264 Bob Smith 2:32:45
2. 260 Mark Leeper 2:37:02
3. 265 Peter Smith 2:51:52

Top 3 Men 50+
1. 269 Cheung Dig Fai 張迪輝 2:45:54
2. 271 Philippe Guillo 2:46:13
3. 274 Wong Shun Choi 王順蔡 2:49:38

Top Women 15-29
1. 276 Lin Ying 林瑩 3:01:35

Top Women 30-39
1. 277 Sean Ho 何潔瑩 2:47:29

Top Women 40-49
1. 204 Vera Goodwin 3:21:02

15 km Category

Top 3 Overall Men
1. 27 Chung Chi Kong 0:46:45
2. 29 Li Chi Sing 0:49:22
3. 167 Alistair Haigh-Smith 0:48:50

Top 3 Overall Women
1. 165 Nicola Buswell 1:01:18
2. 164 Nerissa Tong 1:12:08
3. 163 Mandy Tik 1:43:15

Top 3 Men 18-29
1. 27 Chung Chi Kong 0:46:45
2. 29 Li Chi Sing 0:49:22
3. 35 Lai Ka Long 0:52:44

Top 3 Men 30-34
1. 63 Walter Lai 0:59:10
2. 77 Alex Welsh 1:05:45
3. 79 Yim Yiu Kai 1:10:42

 Top 3 Men 35-39
1. 167 Alistair Haigh-Smith 0:48:50
2. 99 Mike Watson 0:50:02
3. 90 Bono Tsang 0:50:10

Top 3 Men 40-44
1. 124 Ho Kwok Keung 0:52:46
2. 133 Cheung Wai Ming 0:55:42
3. 130 Siu Hing Wai 0:57:19

Top 3 Men 45-49
1. 147 Kan Kwok Cheung 0:57:03
2. 150 Tung Wing Yin 0:57:53
3. 149 Ken Wong 1:17:28

Top 3 Men 50+
1. 154 Leung To Fan 0:55:56
2. 153 Leung Ming Hoi 0:59:31
3. 162 Wong Hok Kun 1:01:54

Top 3 Women 30-39
1. 165 Nicola Buswell 1:01:18
2. 164 Nerissa Tong 1:12:08
3. 163 Mandy Tik 1:43:15

Top Mens Relay
1. 97 Tom McGuinness and Yeung Siu Yu 1:53:10

Top Mixed Relay
1. 114 Wai Chor Kin and Walkman Wong 2:09:20