Bucher, Vine Victorious at XTERRA Malaysia

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Mike Vine takes the victory. Photo provided by XTERRA.
Mike Vine takes the victory. Photo provided by XTERRA.

Top-notch field makes the trip to Southeast Asia’s first XTERRA event.

It was a day of spills and thrills as reigning XTERRA USA champ Mike Vine (CAN) emerged winner of the inaugural South East Asia XTERRA off-road triathlon today at Teluk Chempedak in a close race. Vine clocked in at 2:13:41 to edge out New Zealander Scott Thorne for the title of the first XTERRA Malaysia champion. Thorne crossed the finish line 15 seconds ahead of third-place finisher Sam Gardner from England, who took 2:14:42 to complete the course.

In the Women’s category, five-time XTERRA Saipan champion and XTERRA Europe 2009 winner, Renata Bucher (SUI), led from start to finish in a time of 2:45:26. XTERRA Japan’s participant, 31-year old Mieko Carey was second with a time of 2:55:08, followed by 35-year-old Daniella Erni of Switzerland in 3 :18:14.

The anticipated hot Malaysian weather became a non-issue as the famous Malaysian tropical rain poured. The rain however, transformed the bike leginto a technical one, as it became slippery and quite a number of participants tumbled off their bikes.

The gloomy, overhung skies did not deter the gathering of onlookers at the Teluk Chempedak beach for the first XTERRA Malaysia to cheer the 500 participants on. Spectators flocked to the area as early as 6 a.m. just to check out the activities and settings of the beach. The participants and spectators were not just locals; some 40 percent of the competitors were from overseas and they brought their families and friends along, adding to the carnival-like atmosphere at Teluk Chempedak.

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