The Langkawi International Mountain Bike Challenge may be the best race I did all year. It was a 5 day MTB stage race in Langkawi, Malaysia. Langkawi is a small island off Malaysia close to Thailand. My teammate Cory Wallace (KONA FACTORY TEAM) talked me into this event, which turned out to have a superstar field including Karl Platt, Burry Stander, Johnny Cattaneo and Marzio Deho on the mens side and Nathalie Schneitter and Vivienne Meyer for the women.
Day one was a 62 km UCI marathon which was super hot, probably about 35 degrees C and to make it even worse the whole field of 160+ pro men spent 20 minutes lined up on the start waiting for the honorary patron Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, some general or colonel, to show up and say go. I went out way too hard and blew up after the first 30 minutes. After another 45 minutes of trying to ride hard I came around and had a strong finish. There were going to be three neutral feed zones but it turned out that there was only one, so most racers got extremely dehydrated. I finished up 16th. Cory was having an awesome day but got attacked by a jungle vine, which wrapped around his head and his bike. Cory finished 11th.
Stage two was a UCI XC held at the Kampung Tok Senih Resort. This course had an awesome super steep climb and rad single track descent through rubber plantations. The local race marshals had little camp fires going to keep away the mosquitos which made an already hot race even hotter plus you were always breathing in smoke. Read More