Schmid proves he’s top mountain biker

PHUKET: Switzerland’s Marco Schmid, 28, stormed to victory in Sunday’s 30-km Muang Chaofa Mountain Bike Race, repeating his victory a week ago in Surat Thani over Thailand’s Satit Ruanpae. Third was Direc Pamornchat. Satit finished in one hour, 18 minutes and 19 seconds, seven minutes and 10 seconds behind Schmid’s 1:11:09. Direc clocked 1:20:22. The super-fit Schmid admitted he could have managed “four or five laps of the course” (the race was three laps). “This is nothing compared with the race in Surat Thani,” he said. “There, we had to race 40 kilometers and were forced to walk six kilometers of the course because it was just too steep. Here, I just wanted to see how fast I could go.” American Richard Cracknell, 53, who won his age group in a Nakhon Phanom triathlon the week before, declared himself “the No 1 old man” after winning the Men’s 50-55 age group in the Muang Chaofa. “It’s getting too easy,” he said. “I had no competition.” He finished less than 12 minutes behind Schmid, and 10 minutes ahead of Opas Pruansirirak. Third in the class was Niyom Chitmart. Cracknell also beat Boonlert Sae-jong, the Men’s 40-49 age group winner. Boonlert was followed in his class by Narit Ritaprom and Danny Ruengkan. Prasert Chitmart won the Men’s 30-39 age group in 1:16:53, followed by Anu Thamawat (1:18:09) and Paisarn Janprasut (1:21:37). The Men’s Under-17 was won by Preechapol Polpakdee in 1:55:42 followed by Pongsakorn Nunsang (1:57:05) and Ekachai Chaipolrit (1:59:04). The afternoon heat and rough terrain were too much for some of the 121 participants. Several women dropped out of the race after the first of their two laps, leaving a determined Jamreunsuk Kao-ean to finish the 20-km Women’s Open in 1:12:48. She was followed by Siriporn Chaiwattanamatin (1:22:48) and Chusri Suriyapanpong (2:03:15).

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