Swiss rides his luck to clinch title

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 January, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 24 January, 2008, 12:00am

Fred Bourquin races to victory as main rival falters near the finish line

Swiss mountain biker Fred Bourquin clinched the crown at the GP ReCyko Action Asia Race 2 last Sunday, while Tsui Kin-man, winner of Race 1 on January 18, had to withdraw with a damaged machine.

Last weekend's event was one of two races organised by Action Asia magazine, and attracted more than 100 mountain bikers to Chi Ma Wan.

In the 25-kilometre race, Bourquin crossed the finish line in one hour, 47 minutes, 42 seconds (1:47:42) to clinch the overall title. It was a tough task as Andy Thomson was pushing him most of the way until he got a flat tyre only minutes away from the finish line.

'It was a great weekend for the Swiss. [Roger] Federer is winning in tennis, [Didier] Cuche is the downhill skiing champ and now me and my mountain bike,' joked Bourquin. 'I honestly didn't expect to win. I was surprised that there were so many people getting muscle cramps, having flat tyres or experiencing other problems with their bikes.

'I would recommend that others use proper hydration backpacks and check their bikes before the race.'

The route was challenging and a lot of riders were involved in accidents. Peter Nott clocked 1:49:29 to come in second overall. He crossed the line with a damaged bike after an accident.

There was disaster for Race 1 winner Tsui, who broke his front shock absorbers and had no spare bike. He had to sit on the sidelines watching the remainder of the competition.

'It was tough as I really wanted to ride the new Chi Ma Wan course,' he said.

Wong Sze-shun finished third overall in 1:50:25. He also witnessed many accidents and passed riders who were suffering from cramp or trying to mend broken bikes.

'It was a tough race, very fast, and I'm happy just to get third place against some of the strongest bike riders in Hong Kong,' he said.

Sean Ho clocked 2:15:43 to win the women's championship for the second time, proving that she is one of Hong Kong's top female riders.

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