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Specialized Asia Pacific Challenge

Dec 6, 2012 at 9:00
by Fraser Britton  
The 4th annual Asia Pacific Challenge took place a couple of weeks ago in Bandung, Indonesia and Dan Atherton (GBR/GT Bicycles) proved that he can still race a downhill bike. Atherton pedalled his way to victory ahead of teammate Marc Beaumont and American Specialized rider Mitch Ropelato in third. Neko Mulally was 5th and Brendan Fairclough went down on the race course / slip n slide mid run and was out of the top 10. He did through down a huge Nac Nac over the swampy finish line jump however that got the loudest cheers of the day from the huge crowd.

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The results, fresh off the timing system.

This event wasn't so much about the actual race however as it was, in Dan's word's, "bringing mountain biking to the people." For most of us, it was also about the experience. How many opportunities do you have to go to South East Asia, ride bikes, surf and white water raft? This trip was worth a lot more than the sum of it's parts. Except for the baggage fees... ask GT mechanic Polish Pete about them.

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The crowds in Bandung were massive and seemed to not mind the 2+ hour commute to the city every day... all 20km of it. The entire country seemed like one big traffic jam from the moment we all arrived in Jakarta at the airport, until we left Bali 10 days later. Add to that the monsoon like rains we experienced on all 3 days, and you wouldn't have had a single fan here in North America; in Indonesia the fans flocked to the venue for a chance to get a photo and autograph with Brendog, Mitch, Neko and the GT boys.

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Specialized Asia Pacific Downhill Challenge 2012

You know it's a good day when even the trip photographer can borrow a bike and a helmet and get some laps in! Smiles all around, even in a monsoon.


The race track itself was fairly mellow until the rains came. A mini bobsled track with a few roots some fun jumps and one small stepdown. Once the rain came however, it was turned into one long skating rink as the clay based dirt turned to ice and made for a few wild runs.

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When there's 30 hours of travelling involved, it's hard to convince a professional athlete to leave home when they just got back after a season on the road. In Indonesia it seems fairly simple, offer a 5 day trip to Bali post event. Brendog even put off his knee surgery to go on this one.

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We all crammed our way into the craziest airport any of us had ever been to in Bandung and hopped on a 90 minute flight to Denpesar, Bali. The small Island off the Eastern tip of Java is legendary for legendary surf breaks, mega parties, Australian tourists and really sketchy drinking water. Oh, and scooters. For an island of 3 million people, there is over 1.5 million scooters. They are everywhere; sidewalks, alleys, roads, lawns - you name it.

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A week of playing tourist, white water rafting and surfing was in order and United bicycle showed us all a great time on this trip. From the race to the food to the activities - Indonesian hospitality was at it's finest. Everyone walked away with a smile on their face and not a sign of Bali belly, a pretty extraordinary feat considering. If you're looking for a fun event to head to on your downhill bike, and an epic vacation afterwards, this event is highly recommended.

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Specialized Asia Pacific Downhill Challenge 2012 - Extension

Until next year, Bali!


And yes, this report contained both Go Pro and Iphone images as the horrendous weather managed to kill a pair of Canon 1D MK4s for a few days until they dried out! Additional photos by Christopher Berry.

Views: 15,792    Faves: 107    Comments: 11



42 Comments

  • 25 0
 i think its awesome to see that a lot of the top riders are good friends and can hang out witch each other without letting the whole racing thing get in the way... mountain bikers are just good people lol
  • 4 12
flag Bigskins (Dec 6, 2012 at 14:45) (Below Threshold)
 It's the DH bikers you need to watch ;-)
  • 3 1
 Go Joey Barba - Philippines!

ohhh i envy Indonesia same as Japan, China, and other Asian countries that were visited by TOP MTB Athletes...
They had press people, lots of tourists and sponsors. Unlike here in the Philippines, yeah there are few XC and DH Races, but they're just like "underground" events...

The biggest MTB Event in the Philippines i think is the Nuvali Dirtweekend which is held once a year. Joey Barba was there this 2012 and that's the first time that i saw him in person. I only see him on lists and that's just his name...
  • 1 0
 Scott Remi on 20th place is a Pinoy...
  • 4 0
 Yeah Danny! Nice to see him shredding. Looks like an amazing trip. So cool to see just how global our sport is now.
  • 2 0
 Yeah I'm really happy that Dan is getting some riding/racing time in.
  • 4 1
 Oh, this is my hometown. Bandung, a place where I started mountain biking until now..
  • 4 0
 Nice to see a land rover D3 in indo...
  • 2 0
 Pretty sure Neko had a big crash early in his run too. Not bad to end up 5th.
  • 2 0
 really nice to se the worldcup riders traveling together. Nice video too! looks like a great time.
  • 2 0
 one thing for sure these day, if european canadian american happen to work in south east asia country, its not the end of your MTB life... it's just a new beginning. we only have rain or dry... NO SNOW hahaha LOL
  • 1 0
 Sundaness : "meuni Geunah pisan eau...." , Javaness : "Top markotop", Indonesian : "Mantab Coy....", English : "it's so cool man.."
  • 2 0
 Peter Mansbridge ! nice.
  • 3 0
 That's me on 0:30 Big Grin
  • 2 0
 who did at least one fist pump during that video...be honest
  • 3 1
 Great video! ...horrible music
  • 2 0
 looks like you could be fine on an AM bike on that course
  • 1 0
 Love Indo. Keen to get back there to see how much it's changed. I hear it's become very commercial in the last few years.
  • 2 0
 Bandung is not only about DH....but sexy girls too....yeaaahh.....!!!
  • 1 0
 we need a Redbull Rampage in SE Asia!! Best location is Mt.Kinabalu! lol...
  • 1 0
 cant see dan in the video! #1 and no footage?
  • 1 0
 HA, Mr. pushingbroom, MTB tires do not grow on trees!?!
  • 1 0
 wecome to bali my beautiful islands
  • 1 0
 sponsored by mcdonalds haha
  • 1 0
 Rub-A-Dub-Dub six men in a tub!
  • 1 0
 Go Dan!!! 2013 Enduro! Dominate it!
  • 1 0
 Gooo onnn Danny boyyyyyy!!!!!
  • 1 0
 great to know mountain biking is picking up in indo.
  • 1 0
 nice one!
  • 1 1
 "Right Away we were treated really nice"

It's cause you are White.

Lol jk...but really.

But YES. KOREA NUMBAA ONEEEE.
  • 1 1
 Monkey fits right in with the crowd
  • 1 0
 Mmmmmmmm!!!
  • 1 0
 Nice edit.
  • 1 0
 Roppo!
  • 1 0
 POPO!!!!
  • 1 0
 See you next year ... Big Grin
  • 1 0
 name the song ???Smile
  • 1 0
 1.Get out of the city by ivy
2. Turn it down by kaskade ice mix with rebecca & fiona
3. Daybreak by overwerk
4. Feel my heart by tim besamusca remix
5. one more night by maroon 5
6. Kapi radja by ape king
7. Summer paradise by simple plan feat sean paul
  • 1 0
 Nice Edit Maaan...
  • 2 3
 im sorry, i lost you at rubber trees
  • 7 0
 Head to the library young man and learn where rubber comes from.
  • 1 3
 average British summer race series that weather :')

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