September 13, 2012 (Kuala Lumpur) – Steffen Thum, the overall winner of the 2011- 2012 UCI MTB marathon world series, is tipped to take the 3rd Langkawi International Mountain Bike Challenge (LIMBC) by storm on Oct 15-20.
Germany’s Thum and his compatriot Simon Gegenheimer who finished fourth overall in the marathon world series, will form the pairing from Ultra Sports Rose Racing that has the potential to challenge the likes of men’s elite defending champion Karl Platt and Olympian Burry Stander for top honours.
Thum, 28, and Gegenheimer, 23, are excited with the prospect of ending the season in Langkawi.
“Ending the season in one of the most beautiful places of the world is a pleasure for our team and so we plan to enjoy the torment, pain and beauty of the Langkawi International Mountainbike Challenge,” said Thum.
Thum was certainly the most consistent rider in the marathon series, being in the top 25 in almost every race. He survived the rocky road of the world series, finishing 12th in Ornans, France, 12th in Roc d’Azur, France last year and second in Lovran, Croatia recently en route to being installed the No 1 ranked rider.
“It has been a great year for me and our whole team. Two years ago we wanted to start with a new professional Mountainbike-Team, where team-spirit and a good feeling of all members of the team is the base for powerful and professional sport. It was our proposition to get to the highest level of races, so we concentrated in the World Cup and Marathon World Series.
“Our dream and the aim of the team was participating in these races and fighting against the best riders in the world. We not only participated in these races but we got to be the number one, so it is an unbelievable feeling for us and everybody in our team – the mechanics, physiotherapists, staff, all of them share the No.1 feeling.
“For myself it was a great satisfaction to see that with team-spirit, will-power and a consistent work throughout the whole season you be able to realise what ever you want.” Gegenheimer, the world number 6 and one of the best sprinters in the World Cup series, is likely to create an impession in the short stages in LIMBC 2012.
As German champion and 3rd in the Eliminator World Cups of Houffalize and Offenburg, he is looking forward to the the prologue and stage 5.
Their participation has race organiser Datuk Malik Mydin rubbing his hands with glee.
“Having the world number one marathon mountain biker participate in Langkawi is a huge privilege for LIMBC and we are all looking forward to seeing Steffen and Simon in action. I’m certain the men’s open category will be a fiery contest with the level of quality on show!” said Malik.
This year’s edition offers a total prize money of US$125,000 (RM400,000) and is open to four categories – Male Open (ages 19-39 years), Female Open (ages 19 years and above), Masters Men (ages 40-49years) and Senior Masters Men (50 years and above).
LIMBC 2012 will flag off on Monday 15 October with the prologue – an individual time trial of 2.4km at the Eagle Square, followed by Stage 1, a 65km round the island race. Stage 2 is a 45km race from East to West Langkawi, followed by a gruelling Stage 3, the 87km Langkawi Marathon. Stage 4 is an Olympic distance Cross Country race around Langkawi GeoPark followed by Stage 5, a stunning beach front finale around a short circuit at Pantai Kok.
The jamboree in Kuah on Oct 14 is the precursor to the event.
More on the Langkawi International Mountain Bike Challenge HERE.