Two-wheeled warriors take on Pattaya MTB Challenge 2012

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Sunday, May 6 saw the second Pattaya Mountain Bike Challenge take place on Thappraya Hill in south Pattaya, with a large number of lycra clad athletes assembling at the start line on their state of the art two-wheeled machines to tackle the testing 6.5km long course.

The event was organized by the Pattaya Bicycle Association and the Royal Aeronautics Sports Association of Thailand (RASAT) and was incorporated in this year’s Air Sea Land Games, which run from May 1-31.

City Mayor Ittipol Kunplome was an enthusiastic supporter of the event.City Mayor Ittipol Kunplome was an enthusiastic supporter of the event.

Riders from all ages and abilities were in attendance and had to be split into 18 separate divisions to enable a fair playing field for all.  The Open categories were held over 4 rounds beginning at 9 a.m. and included cash prizes ranging from 300 baht to 2,000 baht for the top finishing riders.

Some notable winners on the day were Phumin Wiengjan in the 85kg plus division, Somjai Jaithien in the women’s 35 years and above category, and Admiral Thet Suebwongrung, who placed first in the men’s 65 years and above class.

Cyclists get to grips with one of the tough off-road sections.Cyclists get to grips with one of the tough off-road sections.

The course was a demanding mixed terrain route that took riders around the Pattaya fitness park and radio hill and included several tight off-road sections and steep hill climbs.

On hand at the start line to set the riders on their way was Pattaya City Mayor, Ittipol Kunplome, together with Group Capt. Weerayuth Ditsayasrin, president and secretary of Royal Thai Aircraft Preservation and Development, and Manich Nongyai, president of the Pattaya Bicycle Association.  The Mayor said he was a keen supporter of events such as this, which promote exercise as a means of maintaining good health for citizens of all ages and the bike racing also provided another draw to attract tourists to the city.

Camaraderie was shown in abundance.Camaraderie was shown in abundance.

The steep hills tested everyone to the limit.The steep hills tested everyone to the limit.

All set at the start line.All set at the start line.

MTB riders collect their well deserved trophies.MTB riders collect their well deserved trophies.