2016 Vietnam Mountain Bike Marathon
SAPA, Vietnam-Nov 2016.
The inaugural Vietnam Mountain Bike Marathon was billed as three tough days of riding in Sapa and the race lived up to its billing. Stage one, which was 40km long and featured more than 800 metres of climbing, began under overcast skies but the cloud soon burned off and the temperature climbed. The race began with a slippery descent, with Matthew Kinch (unaffiliated) and Fraser Young, riding for Team Chiru Magura, pulling away from the other riders. However Kinch missed a turn on an uphill climb and was passed by Hoi An Kayak Tours rider Paul Lasenby. Young climbed well and held onto his lead through the road and singletrack descents before beating Lasenby and Kinch, by nearly two minutes.
Stage 2, the longest stage at nearly 70km, started under warm and sunny skies. The racing kicked off with a climb with Young and Edward Cork who was riding for Chain’s Sprockets moving to the front of the field and remained close down an incredibly twisty and scenic singletrack descent. Young gradually pulled away on a climb that gained 900 metres over 10 kilometres, making it the most difficult in the race. The Chiru Magura rider stayed away for the rest of the rolling stage before winning again. Cork finished second with Pierre Arnaud Le Magnan, also riding for Team Chiru Magura, coming in less than twenty seconds behind him.
The third stage started on the edge of town and was only 23km long, but featured plenty of technical riding and just over 700 metres of climbing. Lasenby showed off his technical skills on the slick singletrack and led the race until the halfway point, where Young passed him for lead and went on to win the stage. Le Magnan finished third behind Lasenby. Young took home the overall victory with Lasenby in second and Le Magnan rounding out the podium.
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