The first round of the WURKZ Mountain Bike Series – held on a tough and rock-like road on Mount Kokes in Kampot province – was an important competitive experience for the Cambodian national mountain bikers before they travel to the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in Vietnam this month.

Nou Chamroeun, secretary-general of the Cycling Federation, told the Post: “All six of our mountain bikers participated in this race. This first round has given them significant benefits in measuring their technical levels and further enhancing their abilities ahead of this month’s games. According to evaluations from our national coaches, based off their races at Mount Kokes, our cyclists are progressing nicely and gaining valuable techniques.”

It was not only the national mountain bikers – Saing Seiha, Huot Loy Raksmey, Lim Vivath, Chan Chaifong, Khim Meng Long and Khuon Bandithbotra – who benefited from the May 1 event, with more than 300 other professional and non-professional cyclists participating as well.

Event organisers – and representatives of exclusive sponsor WURKZ, an energy drink brand produced by Khmer Beverages Co Ltd – announced that the first round of the series went smoothly and ended successfully.

Event founder Pierre Yves Catry – also the representative of FLYING BIKES2 – said the first round attracted a large number of national level mountain bikers and members of the public who enjoy the sport. The field was swelled by 328 staff members of Chip Mong Group – the parent company of Khmer Beverages – who chose to participate, making the race even tougher and adding to the energy of the event.

“The racetrack in Kampot has hard, steep rocky terrain, which means it needed a lot of aggressive pedaling and required the use of many advanced cycling techniques during the race. Despite the tough track conditions, many riders happily participated in the race and were able to learn the basics of mountain biking and improve their technical expertise,” said Yves Catry.

Kong Kosal, marketing director of Khmer Beverages, said: “The course selected for the first round of the series is located in an attractive ecotourism area, which made the mountain biking event very interesting. Many people who live in the area and in the province came and watched the race, which made the atmosphere of the first round busy and fun.”

The 2022 WURKZ Mountain Bike Series consists of 14 disciplines. This season has five rounds, beginning in Kampot and continuing to the July 3 second round in Kampong Speu. The third round will be held in Siem Reap on October 16 and the fourth round will be in Prek Leap on November 20. The final round of the series will be held in Kirirom on December 18.