EVENTS

Action Asia - - CONTENTS -

Re­ports from the Four Trails Ul­tra, Nepal’s run­ning scene, New Zealand’s Coast to Coast, the Bor­neo Ul­tra Trail and more.

IN CON­TRAST TO THE NOR­MALLY DRY and dusty con­di­tions, the third Asian En­duro Se­ries (AES) Nepal con­cluded in Na­garkot in wet and chilly weather. The back­drop of lush hills, with the Himalayas peek­ing through the clouds drew a field of pro­fes­sional and re­cre­ational moun­tain bik­ers alike. For the first time in the se­ries his­tory, dat­ing back to 2016, there were more in­ter­na­tional riders than lo­cals: al­most 100 par­tic­i­pants came from over­seas to join half as many Nepalese riders in putting on a show of heart-pump­ing ac­tion across eight stages. Raj es hM ag ar–one of the Na­tional Ge­o­graphic Ad­ven­tur­ers of the Year – won in the Men’s Elite cat­e­gory to take the over­all Asian En­duro ti­tle. “I felt con­fi­dent on the stages but other riders were amaz­ingly fast. The mar­gin on the first race day was only 15 sec­onds with the next par­tic­i­pant, which made me re­con­sider my ap­proach on the sec­ond day. Luck­ily, ev­ery­thing went smoothly de­spite some un­planned skid­ding on slip­pery trails.” Bhutan’s Pelden Dorji suc­cess­fully de­fended his ti­tle in the Mas­ter’ s A cat­e­gory, and com­mented that the race was more com­pet­i­tive than last year. “It’s heart­en­ing to know that many bik­ers around the world now con­sider A ES Nepal as one of Asia’s most ex­cit­ing en­duro races. We’ve been quite ex­cited for the par­tic­i­pa­tion of young Bhutanese riders as well, who could do with some ex­po­sure.” In­done­sian bik­ers Fitriyani Riyanti and Chan­dra Ari­av­i­jaya took the Women’s and Mas­ter’s C ti­tles re­spec­tively, while Karma Sherpa bagged the U18 ti­tle. Win­ner of the Mas­ter’ s B cat­e­gory, Her­man Mann from Sin­ga­pore said, “This is my third time rac­ing in AES Nepal, and each year there has been im­prove­ments, es­pe­cially on the trails and mark­ing. They are amaz­ing this year and just the way I love to do en­duro biking.”

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