Yoeun Phyuth thrust himself back into contention for the A1 Elite class title of the 2014 Smart Cambodia MTB Series with victory in the fourth round held at Phnom Baset on Sunday.
The 18-year-old EYC rider from Kampong Speu province dominated the race from start to finish, holding off compatriot Nhonh Lenh and Simon Gadient of Switzerland respectively.
“[Phyuth] was the fastest rider of the day,” chief organiser Pierre Yves Catry told the Post. “Nhonh Lenh was a solid second, unable to challenge Phyuth in the technical descents, but very fast in the climbs.
“Simon Gadient struggled a bit with cramps, but was still able to secure third place, ahead of Mol Sim Lim. Hong Chanmakara had a flat tyre in the third lap while running third.
“He lost several minutes pushing his bike to the tech zone and changing the wheel. After a strong fifth lap, he moved from sixth to fifth.”
Despite seizing his third win of the series, Phyuth could only move up to third place in the overall standings on 75 points, one behind Gadient and nine adrift of leader Nhonh Lenh of Flying Bikes team, who triumphed in the previous season when he was racing under the name Ngul Lech.
The A2 Experts class race was won by Flying Bikes Srey Ya, to see him share the spoils this season with female teammate Heng Sivlang on two victories each.
Sivlang’s third on Sunday behind Eng Lin, also of Flying Bikes, ensured she remained a top of the A2 table with 92 points, six clear of Srey Ya.
Flying Bikes sensation Sang Seyha grabbed his third race win on the spin in the B1 Intermediate class. The 19-year-old, who is tipped for promotion to the A1 class next year, enhanced his lead over second placed Yura Kim to 15 points after the Elevate Cycling Team rider could only finish third.
Kim Sambath stole a march on the previously perfect Le Chanthorn in the B2 Intermediate class (for over-30s). The Siem Reap cyclist took full advantage of his Mekong cycling team rival’s unexplained absence to take the 25 points on offer for the race winner and jump up to top spot on 85 points.
Chanthorn’s run of three straight victories came to an end, as he dropped down to third place with Anthony Malling of MDK Adventures sneaking up to second on 76 points.
Elevate Cycling Team’s Mong Saroeun Rin shot himself up to pole position in the C1 Novice class (14-18 years old) by finishing first at Phnom Baset, with Chut Dina in second and Chhun Lyhong in third.
The C2 Novice class (19-35) had Polrithy Sar cross the line fastest and the C3 Novice class (36 and over) featured another dominating performance by Campinoy’s Melvin Baroga, his third successive time topping the podium in 2014.
Heng Sivlang’s older sister and Flying Bikes teammate Heng Sivgech became the only rider of the competition to pass the century mark on points with her unparalleled fourth race victory out of four in the Women’s class.
Pen Sokly and Vong Soukheng, who is the niece of Sivgech, came home in second and third respectively to consolidate those positions overall for the Flying Bikes team.
In the Kids class, Moy Tola continued his rapid rise with his first win of the campaign, ahead of Kim Chanto and Mom Makara.
The final round of this year’s five-race series will be held at Kirirom National Park on December 14.