Toughest Mountain Bike Race?

Toughest Mountain Bike Race?

Cyclists ride 450 grueling kilometers for five days in dirt and heat through tropical East Timor. (Sydney Morning Herald)

President José Ramos-Horta hopes to put his country on the map for something other than civil war with the Tour de Timor international mountain bike race. A $75,000 prize lured 288 riders to the inaugural event.

This Sydney Morning Herald video has a travelogue quality as riders navigate dirt roads through villages and the island countryside. Locals turn out in large numbers to watch the race, and are seen cooking, working, and playing percussion instruments that consititute the soundtrack to the video.

Long days in the saddle, and at least one 2,000-meter climb, takes its toll on the riders, but their biggest foe is the intense heat. Whether it is the “toughest” race is hard to say, but as the winner of the women’s division puts it, “That was just wicked.”

CHANNEL: Sydney Morning Herald

Length: 3:52

Filmed and edited by Jock Cheethem
Additional photo: Dave Turner
Additional footage: Niowavemedia Fiji Islands

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