Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Malaysian Women Hot on Thomas' Heels in Tour de Timor

Malaysian women are on course to finish well in Tour Timor -- if only they can get past the solid skills of Australian competitor Tory Thomas.

For the second day in a row, Thomas, from the mixed team Torq Australia, was the first female across the finish line Tuesday. She breezed over in a time of 2:15:24, after a rocky downhill stretch of almost 60 kilometers.

Even two tire punctures on the brutal 132-kilometer first stage couldn't keep Thomas out of first place.

Five minutes and 35 seconds behind her on Day Two was Masziyaton Mohd Radzi from the three-woman Malaysia 2 team. Her teammates Junaikah Juss and Norazin Alias came in fifth and seventh, respectively.

Asked about her day, however, Masziyaton said, “It went badly.”

The 21-year-old said she was not prepared for the harsh conditions. Tuesday's stage, the second in the five-day race, featured 56 kilometers of steep downhill stretches with potholes the size of 4-by-4 vehicles.

Masziyaton said she had only done one downhill mountain bike race this year, and it was in her home country.

“In Malaysia it’s not like this, the roads are Ok,” said teammate Norazin.

Some 50 to 60 women are among the 300-odd riders racing in the inaugural Tour de Timor. The top female will win $5000.

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