Simon Gadient took full advantage of an early retirement to A1 Elite class leader Yoeun Phyuth to claim victory in the third stage of the 2014 Smart Cambodia MTB Series in Kampong Speu province on Sunday.
Expat Gadient, 29, who is a project manager at Phnom Penh-based web developers Web Essentials, stepped up his training this year to join the Kingdom’s best mountain bike riders after competing in the B Class last year, where he ended up second overall.
Following fifth- and sixth-place finishes in the opening rounds of the series, the dusty and rocky trails of Kampong Speu appeared to better suit the Swiss national as he stormed over the four 7km laps in a total time of one hour, 21 minutes and 51 seconds.
Nearly four minutes back was Flying Bikes team rider Nhonh Lenh, with Khmer Cycling Team’s Hong Chanmakara a further minute behind in third. Flying Bikes team owner and race organiser Pierre Yves Catry came fourth.
Youen Phyuth of EYCycling, who had won the first two races of the series, pulled out after the first lap on Sunday citing stomach pain, and his withdrawal sees him drop down to fourth place in the standings.
Hong Chanmakara and Nhonh Lenh moved up to share top position with 62 points each, while Gadient catapulted himself into second spot on 56 points, two points ahead of Catry.
In the A2 Experts class, Hong Sivlang once again exerted her dominance over male rivals to claim her second successive stage win in thrilling fashion.
Sivlang timed 1:11:37 over three laps of the demanding course to edge out Flying Bikes teammate Srey Ya by just three seconds, with Eng Lin coming home two minutes later for third.
The 31-year-old mother of four now leads the A2 Class by 11 points heading into the fourth and penultimate round in Kep on October 19.
Meanwhile on Sunday, Flying Bikes’ Sang Seiha was a clear winner in the B1 Intermediate class over three laps, well beating Elevate Cycling Team’s Yura Kim and Giant team’s Nov Long, who were second and third respectively.
The B2 Class for over-30 riders, which was contested over a total distance of 19.5km, had its podium topped by Le Chanthorn of Mekong Cycling Team. Kim Sambath grabbed silver and Flying Bikes’ Ngem Samnang took bronze.
Mekong Cycling Team celebrated more success in Kampong Speu with victories for Earm Vatim and Sam Boren in the C1 Novice (14-18) and C2 Novice (19-35) classes respectively. Campinoy’s Melvin Baroga made it back-to-back wins in the C3 Novice (36 and over) section.
Heng Sivlang’s sister Sivgech was a class above in the Women’s race, completing the two laps of 6.5km almost six minutes faster than anyone else.
A boy named Apoly triumphed in the Kids class, which saw youngsters aged 13 and below whizz round five laps of a shortened course.