Norris to defend title at Langkawi International Mountain Bike Challenge

Second year event draws elite riders from around the globe

Racers from 20 nations are expected to compete at the second edition of the Langkawi International Mountain Bike Challenge in Malaysia from October 17 to 23.

The winner of the inaugural edition of the race in 2010, Lachlan Norris, will return to defend his title in the men's race, but he will face a challenge from U23 American rider Russell Finsterwald (Subaru-Trek), former European champion Thomas Diestch (Team Bulls), three-time Cape Epic champion Karl Platt (Team Bulls), three-time Asian champion Kohei Yamamoto (Team Bridgestone) and 2007 Cape Epic winner Paul Cordes (Team Qhubeka).

Among the women competing are Nathalie Schneitter, winner of the 2010 World Cup round in Champery, and Swiss champion Vivienne Meyer for the women's race (both Colnago Arreghini Sudtirol). South African national champion Yolande Speedy (Team Qhubeka) will also compete.

Datuk Malik Mydin, Human Voyage CEO, said the second edition of LIMBC promises to be an unforgettable affair. "With many top riders from Europe having confirmed their participation, we expect LIMBC 2011 to reaffirm its status as the ultimate race in Asia," he said during a press conference at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club earlier this week.

LIMBC's Honorary Patron, YABhg Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, officiated the press launch event. Dr Mahathir said the event was important as a tool to attract tourists to Langkawi. "It is important to have an event such as this in Langkawi as a tool to promote the islands to tourists. With the anticipated huge media interest and coverage, we hope to have more tourists coming over to the island."

Stage 1 of the 2011 Langkawi International Mountain Bike Challenge will feature a 62km race around the island while stage 2 will be an Olympic distance cross country race that starts and finishes at Kampung Tok Senik Resort. On stage 3, racers will do a seven-hour endurance event at Telaga Harbour Park, Pantai Kok.  Stage 4 will bring another cross country, this one ending at Gunung Raya Hill. The race will culiminate with stage 5, a short cross country race.

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