Cycling is to be commended for its efforts in giving the average fan the chance to experience events that their elite athletes participate in, such as the Tour de France. It gives fans a unique insight into what their heroes go through. Sadly that wasn’t quite the case in Malaysia at the weekend.
The Tradewinds Langkawi International Mountain Bike Challenge had 800 cyclists participating in a leisure event that ran concurrently with the UCI MTB Marathon series event. These cyclists had signed up to participate in a 40km event, but that was not what they ended up with.
Race marshals and course signage meant that many finished well before ether had travelled the full 40km course. “It is unfortunate that the Jamboree participants got confused with some of the routes and check points as we wanted them to also have a feel of the UCI MTB Marathon trail. It is only the first day and we would like to move on from this and not have this happen again next year.” Race Director Geoffrey Kronenburg from Human Voyage the race organisers stated. He went on to suggest that next year they will host the public event on a different day.
That was however not the end of the shambles. Video clips popped up on social media of participants rushing to claim their participation medals after crossing the finishing line ahead of the planned presentation time, and some competitors seized more than one medal.