Friday, May 20, 2022

A tough race to victory

Mountain bikers speed through tricky terrain that tests riders and bicycles alike.

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His services are in high demand among those who participate in mountain biking competitions, and his shop is always full.

Former athlete Shahriel Haizat (right) once represented Malaysia at the SEA Games level. Today, he remains true to his love of cycling, working as a professional bicycle mechanic at the AGS specialist shop in Kota Damansara.

Shahriel tinkers with the suspension on a bicycle brought in by a customer at his shop in Kota Damansara.

Siti Natasha, who also represented Malaysia at the SEA Games level, is at AGS today to check her bike ahead of an event in Perak.

The AGS team has nearly 40 mountain bike athletes coming to make final checks on their bicycles ahead of the Enduro event in Perak.

Syahril Lizal Abdul Aziz (left), the manager of the AGS team, helps load a bike onto a pickup truck which will transport it to the event location.

Once they arrive in Perak, Syahril helps his team unpack and get set up.

AGS athletes gather beneath a tent as they wait for the competition to begin. There are five categories: the men’s open, the women’s open, Master A, Master B and Master C.

Other athletes who have just arrived unload their bikes and check them over.

One of them tightens a component on his bicycle.

Participants queue to register for the event. A total of 260 cyclists from all over the country will be taking part in the competition.

A participant collects his transponder, which will record the time taken to complete each trail. Competitors will need to complete three mountain trails at the Enduro event.

An athlete helps his friend fasten his transponder on his left wrist as they wait for the competition to begin.

Another competitor warms up before the event.

Competitors push their bikes up a hill to the trail marked out for the event.

They will need more than basic cycling skills to finish the mountain event.

A competitor zooms through a curve at one of the trails.

Siti Natasha soars off the ground at a tricky part of the trail.

It’s a risky business, but these participants are having the time of their lives.

An unlucky trip sends a competitor tumbling to the ground at one of the turns.

Mohamad Khairy of the AGS team speeds up ahead of a turn.

Another competitor takes a turn at high speed.

The terrain is very rough and tests both cyclist and bicycle alike.

Back at the main tent, organisers track the times of each competitor on the score board. Whoever completes all three trails in the fastest time will be declared the winner.

Nia Vanessa Suhana, also of AGS, competes in the women’s open category.

A participant speeds up on a steep slope.

Another competitor from AGS follows hot on his heels.

Fuelled by adrenaline, the competitors pick up the pace.

Once the race is over, they return to their tents to await the results. Many of the top spots have been bagged by AGS cyclists, who smile as they celebrate their victory.

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