One of the right decision we made was to get hold of 2 walkie-talkie for ease of communication. We were having fun talking to each other while driving to/fro Batu Pahat.
1. Ang (216) - Top 19%
Ang came in first with an impressive 216th position out of more than 1000 riders in the OPEN category. Ang is the only one in our group who wore a pair of sneakers (no sock) in the race. In fact, he might be the only one in the race who did that. Ang has proven to us that you need not be in clipless, ride top of the line bike and wear top of the line gear to ride fast. However, I think if Ang wore clipless he would have easily achieved top 100 position in the race. Ang was riding CUBE full-suspension XC bike with flat pedal during the race. He has my utmost respect!
2. Zhi Cong (236) - Top 21%
Zhi Cong (not in the photo) came in 236th position, an impressive result consider he has yet to be enlisted in the army. Zhi Cong was riding full suspension specialized 29er with clipless during the race. Zhi Cong is a young man with many more productive years to excel.
3. Halil (307) - Top 27%
Halil my idol came in 307th position! He is 5 years my senior and put many young riders to shame! Although he has chronic high blood pressure and under medication, Halil excellent riding skill and experience made him one of the best XC riders in RnR group. However, Halil remains humble and keep low profile about his talent. Halil was riding a polygon carbon full-sus XC bike with clipless during the race.
4. Raymond (313) - Top 28%
This is Raymond first overseas Jamboree race, and he achieved an impressive result of 313rd position. Raymond trained hard and deserved the result he achieved. Raymond background is enduro and trail, which help to build his mental strength to overcome those endurance race. He has potential to achieve better results with the right bike and training. Raymond was riding a specialized double crown long travel full suspension bike with clipless during the race. Impressive!
5. Chris (329) - Top 29%
I came in 329th position. I could have performed better in this race. Not in my top form, but happy to be in top 30%. I was riding trek full suspension trail bike and flat pedal during the race.
6. Hakim (354) - Top 32%
Hakim is my riding's mentor. Despite his age and medical condition (titanium man), he managed to beat most of the young men in the race. Hakim is inspirational, and many members in the rider group were motivated by him. Hakim rode specialized full suspension 29er trail bike with clipless.
7. Calvin (413) - Top 37%
Calvin is our chief in RnR riding group. Despite riding all mountain bike with 160mm travel and single chain ring (28T), he managed to finish an impressive 413 position! He would have beaten many of us if he used XC bike for the race. Calvin rode a full suspension Mojo all mountain bike with flat pedal.
8. Melvin (416) - Top 37%
Similar to Zhi Cong, Melvin (not in the photo) is still a student who has many more years to excel in mountain biking. Being able to finish top 37% in Batu Pahat Jamboree against many seasoned riders is an achievement he would be proud off for many years to come. Melvin was riding full suspension trail bike with flat pedal during the race.
9. Lester (454) - Top 41%
Lester is a DH rider with strong motocross background. His GT DH machine was heavier than all our DH bikes, but he used it as all rounded machine. Lester put many XC riders to shame as well. Despite late start, he managed to finish an impressive 454th position with his newly setup hardtail XC bike. It must be the training he got from the heavy DH machine. Lester was riding CUBE hardtail XC bike with flat pedal. during the race.
10. Danny (593) - Top 53%
Danny (not in the photo) is one of the most active members in the RnR Sunday group. He volunteered to pick up some of the riders to Batu Pahat race. Due to unforeseen circumstances, he nearly could not make it to the race. This is Danny's first overseas XC race, and it was commendable to achieve 593 position. Danny was riding a polygon carbon hardtail XC bike with flat pedal during the race.
11. Nick (718) - Top 65%
Similar to Raymond, this is Nick (not in the photo) first overseas Jamboree race. He had a late start, the price he paid for being late. Similar to Calvin, Nick was riding all-mountain bike in the race. He achieved a finisher position of 718th, commendable considering all the circumstances. My respect to him for not giving up. Well done! Nick was riding specialized full suspension all mountain bike on flat pedal.
One lesson I learned in Malaysia during the XC race, never shout "bike" when you intend to overtake someone. It only works in Singapore. Instead, shout "rider" when you are in Malaysia.
Perhaps, I should get a true bleed XC bike in future for XC race. After all, Trek fuel is a trail bike, not for competitive XC race. The fat tires and 120mm suspension are something I do not need in XC race. Maybe, a carbon 650B hardtail? Will see...