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.”