Earlier in summer last season I stumbled upon “Asia Pacific Downhill Challenge” event info over the internet. 2013 being its 7th action year, the event organized in Bali, Indonesia has started to attract the best in the world. The “Elite” Category Racers this year included, Troy Brosnan, Wyn Masters, Tracey Hannah, Guillaume Cauvin, Fabien Couisinie and many more.
Through the weekend of 25th-27th Oct, coastal town of Klunkung, Bali was the venue for the high speed downhill battle. A ‘United Bikes’ hosted event, the ‘Asia Pacific Downhill Challenge 2013’ had over 255 riders registered for the comp. From Malaysia, UK, Australia, Indonesia, Japan and more, the racers had to fight it down the dry, rough and lose 1.3Kms course designed by the ‘Trail Scapes’ team. With a super humid day in 40+ degrees Celsius heat, the race weekend was a tough one for all. A course scattered with Double Jumps, Drops, Rock Gardens, Hip Jumps and steep chutes it was a delight to bomb down the trail.
This was the first time an Asian DH race start list had India’s name on it! A last minute addition to the start list, Gautam Taode and me were listed in random categories that had vacant slots. After strapping up our race numbers, we hopped on the shuttle van up the ‘Bukit Tengah’ downhill course. After couple of practice runs and a seeding run, it was a long wait until Sunday morning for our Final race runs.
The D day arrived! Following the seeding run position, I was slated to head out of the gate around early noon. As the beautiful ocean stayed in the corner of my eye, the race course’s drops, rock gardens were a blur! I went down the mountain as planned, sticking to the lines I had chosen in practice. Crossing the finish line and straight on the ‘Hot Seat’! As the faster racers kept blazing down the mountain, I managed to stick to the ‘Hot Seat’ for quite a bit. With a few mistakes here and there, I ended up finishing 9th in “Masters”.
Gautam Taode was ready to start his final run around 3pm in the Bali sun. Running a new setup on his bike for the finals, Gautam blasted down the mountain within the 3min mark as planned! This put him on the hot seat for a bit. Eventually grabbing the 8th spot for the day in his category. All smiles for the “Blazing Toad”!
Our week long Bali visit was a buzz. Fun trails, beautiful beaches, great food, fast riders all added to our race experience. With top 10 cracking runs in the Finals, we are sure to see India at the Asian DH Champs in the coming years.
Big shout out to ‘HERO Cycles’ and team ‘Globe Racers’ for organizing our flight tickets on a short notice!